The Delaware House of Representatives on Thursday approved two bills that would expand voting rights by allowing early voting and same-day registration. Both bills passed solely on Democratic support. They now go to the Senate. House Bill 400, which passed 22-18 with one absent, would allow an individual to register to vote on Election Day at a polling place. A person would be required to provide identification or another document displaying his or her name and address, such as a utility bill, paycheck, bank statement or government document. Approved by a 25-15 margin, with one member absent, House Bill 90 would let Delawareans cast ballots in elections for state, county and Wilmington offices “at least” 10 days before the actual date.
The election commissioner would designate polling places open ahead of time for early voting. The measure would take effect in 2022.
“We as a society should be encouraging more people to vote, not trying to make it harder for them to participate in the electoral process,” said Majority Whip John Viola, a Newark Democrat who sponsored House Bill 400.
Gov. John Carney supports the bills, according to a spokesman, and the official Delaware Democratic Party platform calls for early voting and same-day registration.