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.
Articles about voting issues in Delaware.
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.
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.
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.
The General Assembly is only a few steps away from handing over the job of drawing legislative districts to an independent commission. Supporters, mostly Democrats, say the change would prevent politicians from holding onto power by manipulating the redistricting process. “Voters should choose their elected officials; elected officials shouldn’t choose their voters,” said Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, who sponsored legislation to create the commission. Townsend’s bill passed the Senate on a 12-7 vote Wednesday. It still needs to pass a House committee, then the full House, before going to Gov. John Carney’s desk.
Delaware: Senate OKs bill creating commission to draw new legislative districts | Delaware State News | Delaware State News
The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill ordering independent redistricting of the state’s legislative districts. The proposal received 12 votes in support and seven against, with one member not voting and one absent.The measure now goes to the House. Senate Bill 27 would create an independent nine-member commission to redraw legislative district lines every 10 years. The process is currently overseen by the General Assembly, which critics say can lead to gerrymandering. The commission would give at least three political parties representation and allow members of the public to serve. Applicants would initially be selected by a panel of judges, with the secretary of state then randomly choosing nine names.
The bill from Rep. David Bentz (D-Christiana) would require the Department of Elections to allow voters to cast ballots for at least 10 days prior to any election – including local races. At least one polling place would be open for eight hours in all three counties and Wilmington Bentz says access to the ballot should be as open as possible for all eligible citizens. “It just makes it easy as possible for people to get to the polls on their own time that fits their schedule – their busy schedule. The culture is one that’s more on demand,” he said.
A Delaware lawmaker introduced a bill this week that would make it easier to vote by mail. Representative Earl Jaques (D -Glasgow) wants to remove language in the state constitution that requires voters show a valid excuse for obtaining an absentee ballot. And that’s going to be an uphill battle. Since its a constitution change, he needs approval from 2/3 of the General Assembly in two consecutive two-year sessions, which means he needs Republican votes. And that could be a tall order. Republicans blocked Jaques’ last attempt to do the same thing in 2015, saying it would increase voter fraud.
Delaware: Department of Elections pursues voting machine modernization | Delaware State News | Delaware State News
On Thursday morning, the Kent County Department of Elections completed its inspection of all 32 voting machines that will be used in the upcoming Kent County Levy Court special election. … In addition to routine inspection, the department recently has been pursuing modernization of voting equipment. Last year, state election commissioner Elaine Manlove requested a task force to review existing equipment (House Bill 342). On Tuesday the resulting task force met for the first time to discuss a strategy.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly raised the specter of a “rigged election,” and it appears he is not alone. A recent poll by the University of Delaware found that residents are concerned about the integrity of the voting process: 66 percent of the 900 respondents said they were either somewhat or very concerned about voter fraud; 61 percent are worried about the election “being rigged,” and 75 percent are worried about hackers breaking into the computers of state election systems. “If Americans don’t trust our electoral process, where are we?” said State Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove. “I don’t like to see people in positions of authority saying these things that undermine what we’re trying to do.” She and other state election officials maintain there are numerous safeguards are in place.