A vote-by-mail law was ruled by a Delaware judge that was enacted earlier this year as unconstitutional, and has filed an injunction to halt the option ahead of the November’s general election, said WMDT. An injunction was issued by Vice Chancellor Nathan Cook of Delaware’s Chancery Court, that has put mail-in voting to a grinding halt following a lawsuit that argued the statute is unconstitutional.
The lawsuit was filed by a former Attorney General for the State of Delaware and current state GOP chairwoman, Jane Brady, after Democrats pushed the legislation through in a matter of weeks ahead of the end of the session. The option to Vote by Mail had to be struck down due to its constitutionality, she said.
“Today is a victory for the law. We have very strict, and very specific, provisions in our constitution, one of the distinctions of Delaware is that we have actually the reasons why you can vote absentee are not in a statute only, they’re in the constitution,” Brady said.
All registered voters were permitted the option to mail-in their ballots by the Vote by Mail statute, regardless of their reasoning, differing vastly from the absentee option that only applies under certain circumstances, such as voters who are sick or permanently and physically disabled.
Brady explained, saying: “The court entered an injunction preventing them from implementing the statute.”
“Now, the only way that there would be Vote by Mail in November is if the state appealed that ruling, and the Supreme Court decided it before November 8, or before October 10 when they are going to mail ballots if they have Vote by Mail,” she said.
The state is likely to proceed with the appeal, which the voting rights organizations, like Delaware Voting Rights Coalition and the Delaware ACLU, want to see happen.
A civil rights attorney with the Delaware ACLU, Dwayne Bensing, explained, saying: “We certainly hope that the state will expeditiously this to the Delaware Supreme Court. This attack on voting rights by opponents of civic engagement is really fitting into a national framework of right wing extremists who wish to prevent Americans from participating in our Democracy.”
Those who filed the lawsuit remain confident that such a move would not make a difference, while voting rights advocates want to see an appeal. “I believe if it is appealed, it will be upheld. I believe it was right on the law. This law created unconstitutional votes and we just couldn’t let that happen,” Brady stated. An elections official stated that they learned of the court’s ruling in the ‘middle of the night’ but refused to comment further.
A similar lawsuit was followed by this ruling, which was filed over the emergency order that granted Delawareans to mail-in their ballots during the pandemic in 2020. At the time, that lawsuit was ultimately rejected and the mail-in process was upheld.
Additionally, Judge Cook also ruled on a challenge to the state’s same-day voter registration law which he upheld. At this time, it is still not clear whether or not the state has started the appeal process. The matter will be considered by the Delaware Supreme Court, if the state does decide to appeal.