Delaware Democrat lawmakers consider mail-in voting
Bill would give Delaware residents the option of voting by mail in the September primary election and November’s general election.
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A Senate bill that would establish voting by mail in Delaware will be brought under consideration, Senate Democrats said.
Senate Bill 320, sponsored by Sen. Kyle Evans Gay, D-Brandywine Hundred, would call for creating the methodology for voting by mail in the state and will be be reviewed by the Senate Elections & Government Affairs committee.
Gay serves as chairman of the committee.
“A democratic government that truly works for the people should do everything in in its power to make voting accessible,” Gay said in the release. “Working families, seniors, and Delawareans concerned for their health want and deserve a vote-by-mail option.
“Voting is the most fundamental democratic exercise, and Delaware proved in 2020 that mail balloting is safe, secure, feasible, and an effective avenue to expand voter participation, as evidenced by the record turnout in the last election. It’s time we made vote-by-mail an ongoing option in our state.”
The legislation, according to the release, was filed Friday morning and, if enacted, would give Delaware residents the option of voting by mail in the September primary election and November’s general election.
Under the bill, voters would have to complete an online or paper application to receive a mail-in ballot, which can be returned in one of three ways. The ballot would come with instructions, a prepaid envelope to be returned by mail, could be dropped off in a secured drop box, or hand-delivered to a local election office.
According to the bill, ballots are to be accepted even if a voter is not registered by the deadline, a ballot is already opened before it arrives, or tampering instances. In addition, ballots could be challenged if a voter did not request a mail-in ballot or if the ballot was not signed.
During the 2020 election cycle, according to the release, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, 76,000 voters cast absentee ballots during the September primary election and more than 160,000 cast absentee ballots in the November general election.
Currently, according to the release, 23 states permit mail-in ballots.
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