CHAPTER 145 - REGISTRATION OF VOTERS REGISTRATION BOOKS; OFFICERS; GENERAL REGISTRATION; PERMANENT REGISTRATION; STRIKING NAMES FROM REGISTRATION LISTS; COMPENSATION OF REGISTRARS; AUXILIARY REGISTRARS; ADDITIONAL REGISTRATION DAY FOR WILMINGTON; MEETINGS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 56 OF THE REVISED CODE OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, 1935, AS AMENDED, ENITLED "REGISTRATION OF VOTERS", AND TO REPEAL CERTAIN SECTIONS THEREOF.

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

Section 1. That 1706. Sec. 1. Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby repealed.

Section 2. That 1706A. Sec. 1A to 1706L. Sec. 1L inclusive, Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same are hereby repealed.

Section 3. That 1708. Sec. 3. Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out and repealing all of the first paragraph thereof and inserting in lieu thereof a new first paragraph as follows:

1708. Sec. 3. Registration Books; Prepared by Whom; At Whose Expense; Entries In; Size; How Ruled:--It shall be the duty of the Governor in each year of a general election, when duly notified' as provided, to cause registration books to be prepared, at the expense of the State, and to furnish said books for the use of the Department of Elections for Sussex and Kent Counties and the Bureau of Registration for New Castle County, respectively, and for the use of the local registration officers in each election district in this State, for the registration of any and all facts following to wit:

Section 4. That Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing all of 1712. Sec. 7. thereof, and by inserting in lieu thereof a new Section to be styled 1712. Sec. 7. as follows:

1712. Sec. 7. Registration Officers, Duties in Years of Supplementary Registrations; Hours and Days for Registration:--In each year in which a general or supplementary registration is had as in this Chapter provided, it shall be the duty of the Registrar and two Assistant Registrars appointed in and for each election district in this State, to register the names of all qualified electors in their respective election district, and to that end they shall sit for the purpose of ascertaining and registering the persons who are qualified to enjoy the right of an elector and who shall apply in person for registration, and whose names do not already appear as qualified voters on the registration books for such election district, at the place or places in their respective election districts as have been selected and designated for the purpose of registration, from eight o'clock A. M. until seven o'clock P. M. with an intermission from twelve to one o'clock, on the second Wednesday of July and on the third Saturday next preceding the day of the election.

At every place of registry and during the time the aforesaid places are to be open in accordance with the law, the white flag as provided for, shall be displayed at or near the entrance of such places so as to be readily seen.

Section 6. That Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing all of 1717. Sec. 12. and by inserting in lieu thereof a new Section to be styled, 1717. Sec. 12. as follows:

1717. Sec. 12. General Registration in 1940, Permanent; Electors Need Not Register Again, Unless; Supplementary Registration After 1940; New Sets of Registration Books Supplied; When; New General Registration Made; When; How:--The registration made under the provisions of this Chapter in the year 1940, in each election district in. this State, shall be known as "The General Registration' of Qualified Voters"; no person who shall have registered in the said general registration and whose name appears in the aforesaid general registration as a registered voter shall be required to register again in any subsequent year unless he shall cease to be a resident of the election district, in which he was thus registered, or unless his name shall be stricken from the said general registration as hereinafter' provided, or unless a new general registration shall be had in the election district in which he is a resident, as hereafter 'in this section provided.

The registration made in each year in which there is a general election, after the year 1940, in each election district .of this State, shall be known as "The Supplementary Registration of Qualified Voters"; no person whose name appears in any such supplementary registration as a registered voter shall be required to register again in any subsequent year unless he shall cease to be a resident of the election district in which he was thus registered or unless he shall cease to possess the qualifications of a voter under the Constitution and Laws of this State, Or unless his name shall be stricken from the said supplementary registration as hereinafter provided, or unless a new general registration shall be had in the election district in which he is a resident as provided.

The books known as "Registers" and the books known as "Books of Registered Voters", which were used in making the general registration for the year 1940, shall also be used in making the supplementary registrations in succeeding years, until said "Registers" and the "Books of Registered Voters" shall become so filled with entries that they can no longer conveniently be used for such purpose.

It shall be the duty of the Registration Officers of each and every election district in this State, upon the close of each day's registration, to write on the line in the Registers, immediately below the name of the last person registered on said day, the words "End of this day's registration and the date", and immediately under each said entry, the registration officers shall sign their respective names with the proper designation of their office.

The first supplementary registration succeeding the general registration in the year 1940 shall start on each page of the Registers immediately after the entry of the close of the aforesaid general registration as hereinbefore provided and on the next line below such entry shall begin the entries concerning persons applying for registration at such supplementary registration.

Entries concerning persons applying for registration at each subsequent supplementary registration shall begin on each page of the Registers on the line next immediately below where the close of the preceding registration appears.

If upon examination as provided it shall be found that the registration books for any election district are lost, or destroyed, or mutilated, or defaced, so that they are no longer available for registration purposes, then and in such an event it shall be the duty of the Department or Bureau having custody of the registration books in the County in which such election district is located, to certify such fact to the Governor, who shall, prior to the first day of April of the year of holding the election, then next succeeding, supply the said Department or Bureau with the necessary registration books for a new general registration in such election district, of the same form and design as herein-before described. The Department or Bureau receiving registration books from the Governor as hereinbefore provided, for a new general registration in an election district in their County, shall deliver the said books to the Registrars of the election district wherein the new general registration is to be had, at least five days prior to the first registration day in the year in which the next succeeding general election is to be held.

The Registrar of such election district shall endorse on the back and at the head of the first page of each of said books the same entry as in the case of the original books, and he shall enter the date, month and year on which the said books were received by him and shall sign each such endorsement. The said books shall be the Registers and/or Books of Registered Voters, for election district, in Representative District, for County. It shall be the duty of the Registration Officers to register in the Registers aforesaid the names of all qualified electors in such election district, and to that end they shall sit for the purpose of ascertaining and registering the persons who are qualified to enjoy the right of an elector in said election district, and who shall apply in person for registration, at the places and on the days stated in the advertisements provided for, from eight o'clock A. M. until seven o'clock P. M. with an intermission from twelve to one o'clock.

In making such new general registration the registration officers shall, in the same manner as provided in Section 9 of this Chapter, record in the Registers the names of all persons applying in person for registration, and shall enter opposite each name the statements and facts set forth in the said Section 9, and they shall make up the Books of Registered Voters in the same manner as provided in Section 11 of this Chapter. The Department or Bureau having custody of registration books in the County in which any such election district is located, shall, at least ten days prior to the first day set for the purpose of registration as aforesaid, give public notice, by advertisements posted in ten or more of the most public places in such election district, that the original registration books are no longer available and that it has become necessary to have a new general registration in the said election district, and of the places where the registration officers shall sit for the registration of electors as aforesaid and the day or days when they will sit at each of said places.

Provided, however, that no new general registration need be had in any election district because of the loss, destruction, mutilation or defacement of any of the registration books if one of the Registers and one of the Books of Registered Voters of such district be intact, but in such event it shall be the duty of the Department or Bureau having custody of registration books in the County to make or cause to be made a full and exact transcription from the intact Register of all the entries appearing therein, into the new Register supplied by the Governor as aforesaid, and to make a full and exact transcription from the intact Book of Registered Voters of all the entries appearing therein, into the new Books of Registered Voters supplied by the Governor as aforesaid; such transcriptions shall be compared as to their correctness and shall be verified by oath or affirmation of all the members of the Department or Bureau causing the transcription to be made, and the affidavit signed by them shall be appended to each book in which the transcription has been made as aforesaid.

Provided, however, that names struck from the list of registered voters in such election district in accordance with the law shall not be copied into the new Registers or Books of Registered Voters.

The cost of transcribing and comparing and all necessary expense connected therewith, except registration books furnished by the Governor, shall be fixed by the Department or Bureau causing the transcription to be made, and shall be paid by the Levy Court of the County wherein the election district is located.

Section 7. That Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 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; Affidavits; Duties of Judge and Registrar; Removing Names of Deceased Voters; Lists 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 included the election district wherein the person whose registration is appealed, 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 previously been 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 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 day 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 set 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 in the election 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 is registered and against whom the motion is made 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 election 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 election district in which he is registered, then and in that event 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 a 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 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.

Section 8. That Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out and repealing all of the last paragraph of 1724. Sec. 19. thereof.

Section 9. That Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out and repealing 1727. Sec. 22. thereof and by inserting in lieu thereof a new Section to be known as 1727. Sec. 22 as follows:

1727. Sec. 22. It shall be the duty of the Registrar for each election district in this State, on the morning of the day of a General Election, and one hour before the opening of the polls for the Election, to deliver to the Inspector, or other person authorized by law to hold the election in his, the Registrar's election district, the two Registers and the two Books of Registered Voters in his possession, certified to as in this Chapter provided, and all other papers and documents relating to the registration of voters.

Within three days after the last registration day in July in any year in which a general or supplementary registration is held, the Registrar of each election district in this State shall return and deliver to the Department or Bureau having custody of registration books in their County, the two Registers and the two Books of Registered Voters in his possession; the Department or Bureau shall have and retain the custody thereof, except as otherwise provided, until said Department or Bureau shall deliver the said Books to the proper Registrar of each election district in their County prior to the registration day on the third Saturday next preceding the day of the General Election; thereafter, the said Books shall be retained by each Registrar until delivered and disposed of as hereinbefore directed.

The Registers and Books of Registered Voters, when in the custody of the Department or Bureau, shall, upon request, be delivered to the proper Registrar for the purpose of appeals.

The Registrar for each election district in this State, on the morning of the day, of a general or special election, and one hour before the opening of the polls for said election, shall deliver to the Inspector, or other person authorized by law to hold such election, in his the Registrar's election district, the ballot boxes and other election supplies received by him from the Department of Elections of his County.

Section 10. That Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing all of 1729. Sec. 24. thereof and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section as follows:

1729. Sec. 24. .Compensation, Registrars, Assistant Registrars, Alternate Registrars; By Whom. Paid; Notices, Cost of Printing, Mailing; Cost of Registration Books to be Paid by the State:--Each Registrar shall receive Seven Dollars and Fifty Cents per day for each day of actual service, either when sitting for the purpose of registration or in attendance upon the hearing of appeals before the Resident Associate Judge of the County, or such Judge of the Supreme Court as may sit for the hearing of such appeals, and Five Dollars for delivering the Registration Books, after the last registration day in July, to the Department or Bureau having custody of the registration books of his County.

Each Assistant Register shall receive Seven Dollars and Fifty Cents per day for each day in actual service when sitting for the purpose of registration.

Each Alternate Registrar shall receive Seven Dollars and Fifty Cents per day for each day of actual service, when sitting in the place of the Registrar for registration, or in attendance upon the hearing of appeals before the Resident Judge of the County or such Judge of the Supreme Court as may sit for hearing such appeals, and for delivering his registration books to the Department or Bureau having custody of registration books in his County as provided for in this Act, he shall be paid Five Dollars.

Compensation due Registrars, Assistant Registrars and Alternate Registrars shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of any money in the General Fund of the State Treasury, in the manner provided by law.

The cost of printing and mailing the notices required by this Chapter, and the cost of printing any forms that may be required, and the cost of the necessary ink and stationery used by them, as provided for in this Chapter, shall be paid by the Levy Court of the respective Counties upon proper vouchers.

The cost of registration books supplied by the Governor shall be paid by the State.

The Registers and Books of Registered Voters shall be delivered to the Registrars by the Department or Bureau having custody of registration books in each County, as provided by law.

Section 11. That Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing all of 1733A. Sec. 28A, thereof.

Section 12. That Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing all of 1736. Sec. 31, and by inserting in lieu thereof a new section to be known as 1736. Sec. 31. as follows:

1736. Sec. 31. Auxiliary Registrars; Appointments; Qualifying; Duties:--The Governor of this State may appoint as many qualified citizens of the State as Auxiliary Registrars of voters as he may deem necessary for the purpose herein prescribed; the terms of office of such Auxiliary Registrars shall be one year from the date of such appointment; the Governor shall issue a commission to each person appointed by him as Auxiliary Registrar; each person appointed Auxiliary Registrar under the provisions of this Section shall, before entering upon his duties, and within ten days after receiving notice of his appointment, take and subscribe before the Clerk of the Peace of the County in which he resides, the oath prescribed by the Constitution for other State Officers. The Clerk of the Peace of the County is authorized to administer such oath, but no fee shall be charged therefor.

It shall be the duty of said Auxiliary Registrars, by direction of the Governor, to visit, sometime before the last Saturday in September in any year in which a general election is held in this State, the Military and Naval Encampments in this State or the United States, wherein citizens of this State shall be enlisted or engaged in the discharge of military duty, for the purpose of registering, as hereinafter provided for such citizens as voters of the election in which they are entitled to be registered, as designated in Section 30 of this Chapter; provided that in the appointment of said Auxiliary Registrars by the Governor, the same number shall be appointed from each of the two principal political parties of this State and in performing the duties herein prescribed, they shall work and travel in Boards of two, one from each of the said political parties.

Section 13. That 1743. Sec. 38. Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by repealing the first paragraph and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

1743. Sec. 38. Additional Registration Day for Election Districts in the City of Wilmington; General Provisions Concerning Registration on Such Day:--In addition to the registration days otherwise provided, and for a period commencing with the first Monday and ending on the third Saturday in April, in each year in which a Municipal Election is held in the City of Wilmington, the Bureau of Registration for New Castle County, shall sit, each day, Sundays and Legal Holidays excluded, in their office in the Public Building in the City of Wilmington, during the regular office hours of the Bureau and such other hours as the Bureau shall deem necessary, for the purpose of registering qualified voters in the several election districts in the said City, whose names do not appear as registered voters in their respective election districts.

It shall be the duty of the Bureau of Registration, within ten days before the first Monday in April in said year, to cause to be published in two daily newspapers in the City of Wilmington, the dates, the hours and the places where the said Bureau shall sit for such purpose; they shall also cause to be published in two daily newspapers in the City of Wilmington, once each week during the period in which the Bureau sits for the aforesaid purpose, the dates, the hours and the places where the Bureau will sit.

For the purposes of this Section the said Bureau of Registration may appoint Auxiliary Registration officers, who shall be residents and voters in the City of Wilmington. The Members of the Bureau and the Auxiliary Registration officers, appointed under the provisions of this Section, shall possess all the powers and shall perform all the duties imposed upon registration officers as provided in this Chapter so far as pertinent.

Auxiliary Registration officers appointed under the provisions of this Section, shall be equally divided between the two principal political parties, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Bureau; the compensation of Auxiliary Registration officers appointed under the provisions of this Section, shall be fixed by the Bureau and shall be paid by The Mayor and Council of the City of Wilmington, as other election expenses are paid upon certification of the President and Secretary of the said Bureau.

If any vacancy should occur among the Auxiliary Registration officers such vacancy shall be filled by the appointment of some capable person who shall have the same qualifications, possess the same powers, perform the same duties and be qualified in the same manner as the original appointee.

Before entering upon their duties as registration officers, the Members of the Bureau and the Auxiliary Registration officers, shall take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation as prescribed for other registration officers.

All the provisions relating to registration of voters in general, as provided by law, shall apply as far as pertinent to this Section.

Section 14. That 1744A. Sec. 39A. Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed.

Section 15. That a new Section be and the same is hereby enacted to be styled and known as 1744. Sec. 39. Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as follows:

1744. Sec. 39. Meetings of Bureau of Registration and Departments of Elections for Registering Qualified Voters; When; Striking Names from Registration Books; Appeals; Judges Sit to Hear Appeals; When and Where:--In each year in which a General Election is held in this State, the Bureau of Registration for New Castle County, the Department of Elections for Kent County and the Department of Elections for Sussex County, respectively, shall meet at their respective County offices, at least once each week during the months of April, May and June, at which meetings the said Bureau and/or Departments shall have all the powers and authority of local registration officers in their respective election districts, to register qualified electors who appear personally, for the purpose of registering and whose names do not appear as qualified voters on the Registers and Books of Registered Voters for the proper election district; and to strike off names under the same conditions and restrictions, with right of appeal in all cases, as in the case of local registration officers sitting in their respective local election districts during a Supplementary Registration as described in this Chapter, giving like public notice, in all cases, of the days and hours of such sitting, as is required to be given in the case of registration in the several election districts, and using the same Registers and Books of Registered Voters as are used by the local registration officers in their respective election districts h performing the like duties.

For the purposes of this Section, the Bureau of Registration for New Castle County, the Department of -Elections for Kent County, and the Department of Elections for Sussex County, respectively, may appoint Auxiliary Registration Officers for their respective Counties. The Auxiliary Registration officers as herein provided, shall have and possess all the powers that are vested in and shall be required to perform all the duties, so far as consistent, that are imposed upon registration officers generally by any laws of this State. The Auxiliary Registration officers so appointed shall, before entering upon their duties, take and subscribe the oath required of other registration officers as prescribed in this Chapter.

Auxiliary Registration Officers appointed under the provisions of this Section shall be equally divided between the two principal political parties in this State; their compensation shall be fixed by, .and they shall serve at the pleasure of, the Bureau or Department making the appointment. The compensation of such Auxiliary Registration officers shall be paid by the Levy Court of the County in which such officers serve, upon certification to the said Levy Court by the President and Secretary of the Bureau or Department making the appointment.

From the decision of any of the said Departments or Bureau, or Auxiliary Registration officers, granting or refusing registration, or striking or refusing to strike a name or names from the registration lists, any person interested or any member of such Department or Bureau or Auxiliary Registration Officer, may appeal to the Resident Associate Judge of the County, or in case of his disability or absence from the County, to any Judge entitled to sit in the Supreme Court of this State, whose determinations shall be final; and in order to prosecute said appeal, it shall be the duty of the person taking the same to notify the Department, Bureau or Auxiliary Registration officer, as the case may be, from the decision of which said appeal is taken and also the person affected by the appeal, stating in said notice the time when said appeal will be presented to the Resident Associate Judge of his County or such Judge of the Supreme Court as may sit for the purpose of receiving and hearing such .appeals, which time shall be one of the days hereinafter named for such Resident Associate Judge or Judge of the Supreme Court of this State, to sit for the purpose of receiving and hearing appeals.

It shall be the duty of the Resident Associate Judge of New Castle County to sit in the Court House of New Castle County, and the Resident Associate Judge of Kent County to sit in the Court House of Kent County, and the Resident Associate Judge of Sussex County to sit in the Court House of Sussex County, for the purpose of hearing appeals from the decisions of the respective Departments, Bureau or Auxiliary Registration officers of their respective Counties, as provided for in the preceding paragraph of this Section, on the first Tuesday in the month of May in each year in which a General Election is held in this State, at ten o'clock in the morning of the said day, on which day he shall hear appeals, from such persons, in his County, as shall have appealed from the decision of the said Departments, Bureau or Auxiliary Registration officers, of his County, which shall be presented on said day, and he shall proceed to hear all appeals which have been filed as aforesaid on said day, and may continue the hearing of any such appeal or appeals, from day to day, until they have all been disposed of; and shall sit again on the first Tuesday of the month of June in each year in which a general election is held in this State, for the purpose aforesaid, to hear and determine such appeals as shall not have been acted upon, and also such as may be presented and filed on. said last mentioned day, and may continue the hearing of any appeal or appeals then unheard, from day to day, until all appeals which shall have then been filed shall have been heard and decided; and shall sit again on the first Tuesday in July in every year in which a general election is held in this State, for the purpose aforesaid, to hear and determine such appeals as shall not have been acted upon, and also such as may be presented and filed on last said mentioned day, and may continue the hearing of any appeal or appeals then unheard, from day to day, until all such appeals have been heard and decided.

No such appeal shall be received and acted upon by the Resident Associate Judge, unless the appellant shall at the time of presenting his appeal, make and file therewith an affidavit that notice of his intention to present his appeal on the said day was given to the said Department, Bureau or Auxiliary Registrar of his County, and to the person affected by the appeal, as herein provided for, and that such appeal is made in good faith and based upon facts within the knowledge of the person making and filing such affidavit.

Section 16. That on and after the effective date of this Act, the Board of Registration for Registration District Number One (New Castle County), the Board of Registration for Registration District Number Two, (Kent County), and the Board of Registration for Registration District Number Three, (Sussex County), be and the same are hereby abolished.

Section 17. That all Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

Approved March 29, 1945.