A Delaware judge has struck down an attempt by Democrats in the state to let voters cast ballots by mail, finding the proposal unconstitutional.
As a result of the decision from Vice Chancellor Nathan Cook, mail-in voting will not be permitted in the upcoming general election.
Delaware strikes down vote-by-mail
Cook’s ruling did not affect Delaware’s primary election which took place on Tuesday. President Biden chose not to avail himself of the option to vote by mail, instead opting to jet to his home state at taxpayer expense to vote in person.
When Democrats passed Delaware’s vote-by-mail statute, they acknowledged that it might not be legal.
“I don’t know whether it’s constitutional or not constitutional, and neither do you guys, or anybody else in here. The best way to get this thing done is hear this bill, move forward, and let a challenge go to the courts, and let them decide it,” House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf (D) said.
Judge Cook found that, in fact, the law does not pass legal muster. Allowing no-excuse absentee voting would mix “constitutional votes with unconstitutional votes” in the upcoming midterm elections, he said.
“If I were to not enjoin the Vote-by-Mail Statute, then the courts would be faced with the impossible task of ‘unscrambling the eggs’ of an election undermined by unconstitutional votes,” he wrote.
Election integrity win
The issue, simply, is that Delaware’s constitution permits absentee voting only under certain conditions. Democrats in Delaware initially tried passing a constitutional amendment to allow vote-by-mail that failed.
The very notion of “unconstitutional votes” surely strikes many Democrats as unduly restrictive. Since the bitterly contested 2020 presidential election, Democrats have argued more or less that voting restrictions of any form are tantamount to “voter suppression.”
The lawsuit was brought by Delaware Republican Party chairwoman Jane Brady and Republican attorney general candidate Julianne Murray. Brady called Cook’s ruling a “victory for the law” and for election integrity.
“This is the first step to protect Delaware elections from laws that may undermine our confidence in election results and threaten to introduce greater opportunities for fraud into our elections.”
Cook also ruled that a law allowing same-day registration is legal.