CHAPTER 107

REGISTRATION OF VOTERS

STRIKING NAMES FROM THE REGISTRATION BOOKS FOR FAILURE TO VOTE AND FOR BECOMING DISQUALIFIED

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 56, REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE 1935, RELATING TO REGISTRATION OF VOTERS, BY THE REPEAL OF 1718. SEC. 13. AND BY SUBSTITUTING IN LIEU THEREOF A NEW SECTION TO BE KNOWN AS 1718 SEC. 13.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That Chapter 56, Revised Code of Delaware, a 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing all of 1718. Sec. 13, and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section to be known as 1718, Sec. 13. as follows :

1718. Sec. 13. Striking Names from Registration Lists; Who May Move; Affidavit; Duties of Judge and Registrar; When Motion Made First to Registration Officers; Removing Names of Deceased Voters; List of Names Stricken Off by Reason of Death : --Any person may move to strike from the general registration or any supplementary registration the name of any person who has been illegally registered as a qualified voter, or who since his registration has become disqualified, or for any reason has ceased to be a qualified voter in the Election District in which he is registered, provided, the person making such motion be a qualified voter of the Representative District which includes the Election District wherein the person whose name is to be stricken off, is registered. Such motion may be made to the same Judge who sits to hear appeals from registration officers in the County where the person affected by such motion is registered, without such motion having been previously made to the registration officers, or such motion may first be made before the registration officers of the election district in which the person affected is registered, provided that the person making such motion shall make an affidavit that he believes he has lawful grounds for such motion, and setting them forth. If such motion

shall be made to the Judge in the first instance the said Affidavit shall be presented to the said Judge at the time of making such motion ; but if such motion shall be made first to the registration officers, then the said affidavit shall be presented to the Registrar. When such motion is made to the Judge in the first instance as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the person making the motion to notify the Registrar of the election district in which the person affected by such motion is registered, and also to notify the person affected by such motion, stating in said notice the time when said motion will be made to the Judge aforesaid, which time shall be one of the days hereinafter named for hearing appeals. It shall be the duty of the Judge before whom any such motion is made to hear and inquire into all the grounds of such motion suet forth in the affidavit aforesaid. If it shall appear that the person against whom the motion is made was illegally registered, or that since his registration he has become disqualified, or that for any reason he has ceased to be a qualified voter of the district in which he is registered, then and in any such cases the Judge shall order and direct the Registrar to make the appropriate marks and entries in the Registration Books. It shall be the duty of the Registrar of the Election District in which the person against whom the motion is made is registered, to appear at the hearing of such motion before the Judge, with the Registration Books, and to make such marks and entries therein as he shall be directed by the said Judge.

When such motion is made first to the registration officers, then it shall be the duty of the person making such motion to notify the person affected of his intention to make such motion at the next sitting of the registration officers of the district in which the person affected is registered, and it shall be the duty of the registration officers at said sitting to examine into the matter, and if upon such examination it shall appear that the person against whom such motion is made was illegally registered, or that since his registration he has become disqualified, or that for any reason he has ceased to be a qualified voter of the district in which he is registered, or that he attained the age of twenty-one after the first day of January, 1900, or after that date became a citizen of the United States, and is unable at the time of the hearing of the said motion, to read the Constitution of this State in the English language, or to write his name, and that this is not due to physical disability, then and in any of such cases, a heavy line shall be drawn in ink through his name in the column headed "Registered Voter" and a line shall be drawn through his name as first entered, but in such manner that his name shall remain legible, and the cause of his disqualification shall be briefly stated in the column headed "Disqualified" and in the column headed "Remarks" opposite his said name shall be written the words "Adjudged disqualified on revision by the registration officers" and the date when his disqualification was ascertained as aforesaid, and in the "Books of Registered Voters," a heavy line in ink shall be drawn through his name, his residence and his age.

Beginning with the year 1944, and each year thereafter, it shall be the duty of the Registrar of Vital Statistics for the State of Delaware, to furnish to the Board of Registration for each Registration Department District, on or before the tenth day of January, April, July and October, a full, complete and accurate copy of the record of the name, residence and age of each person twenty-one years of age and upward who has died in such Registration Department District, during the three calendar months then next preceding as the facts in respect to such deaths, shall be furnished to the said Registrar of Vital Statistics.

The Board of Registration shall keep, preserve and file all such copies of such records.

It shall be the duty of the Board of Registration for each Registration Department District in each year in which an election is held, to cause to be made and delivered to the registration officers in each and every election district, on or before the Fifteenth day of October in that year, a record of all persons twenty-one years of age and upward who in the district in which

the said registration officers are to serve, have died since the last day of registration. Such record shall be known and designated as the Record of Deaths. It shall be the duty of the registration officers in each election district, upon the receipt of such record to attach securely the same to the inside cover of the Register in his custody, to the end that it may be preserved; and each Registrar shall examine the Registers in his custody as to the name of every person upon said Registers who, by said Record of Deaths shall be a coincidence in respect to said name and facts appear to have deceased, and opposite to and against every such name to enter in the column headed "Disqualified" the word "Dead" and the month, day and year of such entry and in the column headed "Remarks" the words "Stricken from the Registers" adding against each such entry made in the Column of Remarks the initial letters of the name of the Registrar making such entry; and through the name of every such person stricken from the registers, and then only, shall draw a line indicative that such name is stricken from the registers of that election district.

It shall be the duty of the Board of Registration of each Registration Department District, in each year of Registration, to strike or cause to be stricken from the Registers and from the Books of Registered Voters, in the manner hereinafter stated, the name of every person appearing on said books who has failed or omitted, for any cause whatever, to vote in the election district covered by said Registers for a period of five years. The fact of voting or not voting shall, for the purpose of this section, be deemed to be prima facie established by the entry of the word "voted", or the omission of such entry in the appropriate column opposite the name of the registered voter in the Book of Registered Voters, but before any name shall be stricken from the books as aforesaid, the Board of Registration of such Registration Department District, shall give notice of such intention, and the reason therefor, by Registered Mail, directed to such Registered Voter at the Post Office address as the same shall appear in the Registers, the date on which the matter will be passed on at a meeting of the Board of Registration of such Registration Department District. Such notice shall be mailed not later than the Wednesday next preceding the sitting of the Board of Registration aforesaid. If at such meeting of said Board of Registration it shall be established to their satisfaction that the person, aforesaid, did in fact vote in said Election District within a period of five years then his name shall not be stricken from the books as aforesaid ; but if it shall not be so established, then such Board of Registration shall draw or shall cause to be drawn, a heavy line, in ink, through the name of such person in the column headed "Registered Voter" and a line shall be drawn through his name as first entered, but in such manner that his name shall remain legible, and in the column headed "Remarks" opposite his name shall be written the words "Stricken off for failure to vote in five years", giving the year of the general election at which said person last voted and the date of such entry; and in the Books of Registered Voters a heavy line, in ink, shall be drawn through his name, his residence and his age. Every person whose name has been stricken from the Registers for failure to vote as aforesaid, may become registered anew at any sitting for registration if he possesses all the necessary qualifications for registration, upon personal application for such purpose, as if he had not before been registered. Provided, however, it shall be unlawful to strike any name from the Registration Books on the last day of registration in any year for having failed to vote as aforesaid.

Approved April 2, 1943.