Delaware’s high court rules against two important election practices

The Washington Examiner reports that Delaware’s top court has just ruled that the state’s new vote-by-mail and same-day voter registration laws are unconstitutional. 

State Democrats have to be seething.

Background

Delaware Democrats have been looking to make permanent some of the voting practices that were put in place in 2020 during the COVID pandemic. This includes allowing universal voting by mail as well as same-day voter registration.

The problem, though, is that Delaware’s constitution keeps getting in the way. It very clearly states that the registration period for a general election has to be between 60 and 120 days before the election, and it very clearly lays out the limited circumstances in which a voter can seek an absentee ballot.

Accordingly, if Delaware Democrats want universal voting by mail and same-day voter registration laws, they would have to amend the state constitution. They tried but failed.

So, the Delaware Democrats have, instead, been trying to enact such rules through legislation alone. They rammed the legislation through Delaware’s General Assembly in June, only managing to get the support of one Republican for each bill. And, in July, Gov. John Carney (D) signed the bills into law.

Subsequently, the laws were challenged in court.

The court’s ruling

On Friday, the Delaware Supreme Court struck the two laws down as unconstitutional.

The court found that the vote-by-mail law “impermissibly expands the categories of absentee voters identified” listed in the state constitution. Similarly, the court found that the same-day registration law is at odds with the registration period stated by the state constitution.

The court, in short, made it clear that if the Democrats want to implement their desired changes to the state’s election practices, they have to do so through the proper channels, namely via amendments to the state constitution.

The laws passed over the summer, thus, will not be used for the upcoming midterm elections.

State Republicans are celebrating the decision, while state Democrats attempt to find a way to put it in the best light possible. Delaware Democrats are doing so by making the absurd claim that, in trying to follow the rules set out by their state’s constitution, Republicans are making it more difficult for people to vote.