More than half of all registered voters in Delaware cast a ballot in November — the highest turnout for a midterm election in the state in at least two decades. Even more voters are expected to cast ballots in 2020 when President Donald Trump and Gov. John Carney will be running for a second term. But some say the state’s voting laws are actually keeping eligible voters from participating in state and federal elections. After multiple failed attempts in recent years, House Democrats now believe they are just weeks away from enacting a trio of reforms designed to remove some of those hurdles, as they see it.Full Article: Early voting, other election reforms proposed in Delaware.
Articles about voting issues in Delaware.
Delaware lawmakers on Monday approved a $13 million contract for Election Systems & Software to supply roughly 1,500 of its new ExpressVote XL voting machines, the state’s first new voting system in decades. But some watchdogs are questioning whether state officials chose the best equipment when they chose to purchase a new and largely unproven voting system. “They had it in their minds to choose this system regardless of the facts about it,” said Jennifer Hill, director of Common Cause Delaware. “This system is brand new so we don’t know what to expect.” Those claims did not dissuade lawmakers Monday from approving a $13 million contract to buy a fleet of new voting machines, along with new systems for registering voters, checking them in at their polling places and counting absentee ballots.Full Article: Delaware's first new voting machines in decades are on their way.
Delaware is set to have new voting machines for the 2020 presidential election, with the goal of putting them in place by May’s school board elections. A task force given the responsibility of approving a contract with a vendor to replace the current machines unanimously approved the selection Tuesday, although the choice must still go before the Joint Committee on Capital Improvement. That committee will meet Monday, enabling lawmakers to review and vote on the selection of Election Systems & Software. If the contract is approved, the company will provide machines and other products, including a new database application, to the state. The cost has not been publicly released and will remain private unless the contract is finalized. Officials have up to $13 million to spend, with $3 million of that coming from the federal government and the rest coming from state funds allocated in the capital bond bill.Full Article: New $12 million voting machines will provide ‘paper trail’ - Delaware State News | Delaware State News.
A task force charged with finding new voting machines for Delaware made its decision Tuesday. The task force voted unanimously to award the contract to Election Systems and Software. Its voting machines creates a paper ballot that it marks and tabulates for the voter. But some advocates like Stan Merriman criticized the task force, saying its work lacked transparency and it failed to consult outside experts. “Instead the task force bill treated this historic event as just another routine purchase of machines, failing to imagine a different future,” he said. “Again, machines over methods.” Jennifer Hill with Common Cause Delaware says other states using ESS’s machines have experienced some issues. Some advocates were also upset the new system doesn’t include paper ballots that voters fill out themselves or a vote by mail system.Full Article: Task force approves new voting system for Delaware amid criticism | Delaware First Media.
Common Cause Delaware has posted a link to bid data the First State received to replace its current voting machines. Six vendors, Electec Election Services, Dominion Knowlink, Election Systems & Software, Everyone Counts, Hart InterCivic and Tenex Software Solutions submitted bids. Jennifer Hill of Common Cause says some of these companies have had problems in other states. She said a city in Kansas using an ES&S system faced issues during a primary last week. “There were election night reporting delays that they could not explain,” she said. “So, you know those are the things that we hope will be looked at before our you know our state invests $8 or $10 or $13 million in a voting system.”Full Article: Delaware voting machine bid data is released to public | Delaware First Media.
Common Cause Delaware has been waiting months to learn more about the vendors vying to provide the state with new voting machines and it was told Wednesday that wait will continue. Office of Management and Budget Director Mike Jackson said last month the bid data would be released by now. But an OMB spokesman says they are still reviewing and redacting documents and hope to release the info by the end of the month. This comes just as U.S House Democrats release a report saying Delaware has one of the five most insecure voting systems in the country. The other states are Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina.Full Article: State misses target for releasing voting machine bid info | Delaware First Media.
Legislation allowing early voting in Delaware has died in the state Senate, more than a week after it was declared to have passed the House despite falling short of the two-thirds vote requirement. The Democratic Senate majority leader announced late Saturday that the bill would not be considered on the final night of this year’s legislative session because it did not have enough votes.
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.Full Article: Same-day registration and early voting pass Delaware House - Delaware State News | Delaware State News.
Delaware: Delaware may award voting machine contract before releasing bid info | Delaware First Media
The Delaware Office of Management and Budget has requested $10 million for new state voting machines. But the state has not released any bid information on the vendors competing for the contract. OMB previously said it would keep the info private until it awarded the contract. Common Cause Delaware decried the lack in transparency and the Delaware Attorney General sided with them last month, saying OMB has to release the bid rankings.Full Article: Delaware may award voting machine contract before releasing bid info | Delaware First Media.
Democratic lawmakers last week introduced legislation that would make Delaware the 19th state with same-day voter registration. Under the bill, Delawareans could sign up to vote and cast a ballot on the same day. “Our goal as a society should be to encourage more people to be part of the electoral process, not less,” main sponsor House Majority Whip John Viola, D-Newark, said in a statement. “Right now, we have an arbitrary deadline to register to vote of three weeks before an election. “Some people, often young people or those who just moved to the state, don’t think to register to vote until it’s right before the election, and by then it’s too late. Election Day registration has been around for decades and is proven to safely and effectively increase voter turnout, so it’s time for Delaware to take this step forward.”Full Article: Democrats push same-day voter registration - Delaware State News | Delaware State News.
A new house bill introduced Wednesday in Dover would make it possible to register to vote on Election Day, making The First State the 19th in the union to adopt Same Day Registration. Under HB 400, a person could register to vote at his or her polling place on the day of a presidential, state primary, general or special election. All they would have to do is show a valid government issued photo ID, a current utility bill, a bank statement or other government document that displays name and current address.Full Article: Bill introduced to allow for Same Day Registration - WMDT.
As the investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 Presidential election continues, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally announced which states experienced hacking attempts within the last year. Among those targeted was Delaware. With only three Electoral College votes and a consistent Democratic voting record in the last seven presidential elections, it is bizarre to see Delaware in the company of swing states like Wisconsin, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. However, unlike Virginia, which is updating its voting system to ensure election security, Delaware is updating its voting system for a very different reason: efficiency.Full Article: Who Would Dare Hack Delaware? - State of Elections.
Delaware will put out a request for bids on new voting machines by the end of month. Delaware’s current voting machines have been in use since 1996. The state has about 1,600 voting machines. Considered state of art when they were purchased more than twenty years ago, they’re now outdated. A 2015 report by the Brennan Center for Justice notes that the machine models Delaware uses are no longer being made and have outlived their expected lifespan. … [State Elections Commissioner Elaine ] Manlove adds Delaware will probably have to wait until 2020 for the new voting machines because the purchasing process will take some time.Full Article: Delaware to send bids for new voting equipment | Delaware First Media.
It’s Nov. 6, 2018. Election Day. More than 100,000 Delaware voters have already cast their ballots with just one hour until polls close when suddenly the state’s election system goes down. Software experts are able to quickly restore it, but it’s too late: All the votes have been wiped out. The system failure has invalidated votes all across the state, and now the integrity of the election is at stake. While unlikely, this scenario is possible, and it’s a big part of the reason why advocacy groups are urging state officials to fund the purchase of new voting machines. Delaware has about 1,600 Danaher ELECTronic 1242 voting machines, purchased in 1995. Those machines were state of the art 22 years ago, but they’re now outdated and, according to some, in desperate need of replacement. “We need a voting system that inspires public trust,” said Jennifer Hill.Full Article: State needs new voting machines, advocates say - Delaware State News | Delaware State News.
Delaware voters soon will cast their ballots on new voting machines. But exactly when – and what those machines will look like – remains to be seen. A state task force created last year to study the issue is still debating what bells and whistles the new voting machines should feature – four months after it was supposed to make a final recommendation to the Delaware General Assembly. … First deployed in 1996, Delaware’s 1,600 voting machines are among the oldest in the nation and have outlived their expected lifespan, creating a growing list of potential problems. The computer operating system used to create electronic ballots, for instance, is no longer supported by Microsoft, meaning security updates are no longer available. The outdated equipment also precludes the General Assembly from adopting the kind of no-excuse early voting currently used by 34 other states. And Delaware is now one of five states using voting machines that never let voters see a paper copy of their ballot to ensure its accuracy.Full Article: Delaware urged to speed up hunt for new voting machines.
Under the new law you no longer have to get a request for an absentee ballot notarized. A notary — usually found at a bank or UPS store — verifies your identity and places a seal on your affidavit explaining why you need to vote absentee. State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove says that’s a hurdle in the absentee voting process for people who aren’t used to voting that way.Full Article: New law eases access to absentee voting | Delaware First Media.
By the end of the week, most Delawareans will no longer be able to ask for a copy of the state’s voter registration database. That news comes in the wake of an effort by the Trump Administration to root out what they view as widespread voter fraud across the country. “I don’t feel like we should give that information,” said state Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove, referring to a panel led by Vice President Mike Pence (R). Last week, her office said it wouldn’t comply with a request from the group, which would’ve involved handing over voters’ dates of birth, the last four digits of their social security numbers and more.Full Article: Delaware officials to restrict access to voter records | Delaware First Media.
Delaware is refusing to deliver its voter registration data to the federal government. Delaware Secretary of State Jeffery Bullock recently received a letter from the White House asking for voter roll data, including names, birth dates, party affiliation, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and voting history past 2006. This request comes from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which was formed around President Trump’s unfounded assertion that millions of illegal votes were cast during the 2016 election. So far, nearly half the states have refused to comply, either fully or partly.Full Article: Delaware won't hand over voter data to White House.
Delaware: Legislation seeks to prevent political meddling in drawing districts for the General Assembly | Sun Times
A plan to change how the state sets the borders for legislative districts has attracted bipartisan support in the upper chamber of the General Assembly. Senate Bill 27 seeks to overhaul General Assembly redistricting by taking it out of the hands of the legislature, sponsor Sen. Bryan Townsend said. Instead, an independent commission would redraw voting maps without reference to politics. The Democrat of Newark said the idea is to create an unbiased and transparent method of setting boundaries. The legislation proposes a nine-member nonpartisan commission.Full Article: Redistricting reform faces House vote.
Delawareans would be able to vote early, would be automatically registered to vote at the DMV, and would vote in local primary elections and presidential primary at the same time if a trio of bills passes the General Assembly. The goal of all three proposals is to encourage more people to vote, the sponsors say. Rep. David Bentz, D-Christiana, sponsored a bill that would allow citizens to vote in the 10 days leading up to any general, primary or special election. There would be one early-voting polling place in each county, plus one in Wilmington. “We should try to make it so that our elections fit into the people’s schedules, and not where people should have to fit their schedule into the government’s,” Bentz said.Full Article: Bills would move local primaries; allow for early voting.