CHAPTER 150 - PRIMARY ELECTIONS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 58 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, ENTITLED "PRIMARY ELECTIONS".

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

Section 1. That the first paragraph of 1772. Sec. 4. of Chapter 58, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new paragraph inserted in lieu thereof as follows:

1772. Sec. 4. Inspectors and Judges; How Appointed:--The Inspectors and Judges of all primary elections held in this State under the direction of any political party, organization or association, shall be appointed by the regularly organized and constituted County Committee or governing authority of the political party, organization or association holding such primary election. The Inspector of primary elections shall be appointed from among the persons designated to serve at the subsequent general election.

Section 2. That 1776. Sec. 8. of Chapter 58, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section inserted in lieu thereof as follows:

1776. Sec. 8. Books of Registered Voters Used for Primary Elections:--The Books of Registered Voters used for general election purposes shall also be used for all primary election purposes.

Section 3. That 1777. Sec. 9. of Chapter 58, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed.

Section 4. That 1778. Sec. 10. of Chapter 58, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section inserted in lieu thereof as follows:

1778. Sec. 10. Stealing, Destroying, Falsifying, Books of Registered Voters by Officers Having Custody; Misdemeanor; Penalty:--Every Inspector of any Primary Election, Poll Clerk, or other officer or person having the custody of any Books of Registered Voters, oaths, return of votes, certificates, poll lists, or any paper, document, or evidence of any description in this Chapter directed to be made, filed or preserved, who is guilty of stealing, willfully destroying, mutilating, defacing, falsifying or fraudulently removing or secreting the whole or any part thereof, or who shall fraudulently make any entry, erasure or alteration therein, except as allowed and directed by the provisions of this Chapter, or who permits any other person to do so, shall, upon conviction thereof, be judged guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished for every such offense by imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Dollars, or both.

Section 5. That 1780. Sec. 12. of Chapter 58, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section inserted in lieu thereof as follows:

1780. Sec. 12. Time for Holding Primary Elections; Date of; Who May Vote; Time for Opening and Closing Polls:--The time for holding any primary election except primary elections to nominate candidates for Municipal Elections, shall be after the last registration day in the month of July and not later than the last Saturday in August in the year in which such primary election is held, and the time for holding primary elections in the City of Wilmington to nominate candidates to be voted for at a Municipal Election shall be in the month of May.

The two Books of Registered Voters for each election district in the City of Wilmington shall be used for primary election purposes in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, and all persons, and only they, whose names appear on the said registration books, after the same have been added to, revised and corrected, as provided in Section 38 of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code, 1935, as amended, shall be entitled to vote at a primary election to nominate candidates to be voted for at a subsequent municipal election in the City of Wilmington.

The time for opening the polls for the purpose of conducting a primary election under the provisions of this Chapter shall be one o'clock in the afternoon, and the time for closing the polls at such primary election shall be seven o'clock in the evening.

Provided however, in case there be no contest for any office in a particular primary election district or districts, then and in that event the Chairman of the regularly organized and constituted County or City committee or governing authority of the political party organization or association holding such primary election, may by proclamation or otherwise close the polls in such aforesaid primary election district or districts, prior to seven o'clock in the evening.

The Books of Registered Voters, for each election district in this State, used for Registration purposes for general, supplementary and additional registrations shall be used for all primary elections held under the provisions of this Chapter.

Section 6. That 1781. Sec. 13. of Chapter 58, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new section inserted in lieu thereof as follows:

1781. Sec. 13. Notice of Primary Election; by Whom; When Given; Duty of Inspector; Refusal or Neglect; Misdemeanor; Penalty: Whenever a political party, organization or association desires to hold a primary election for the purpose stated in Section 2 of this Chapter, the Chairman or Secretary of the regularly organized and constituted County or City Committee or governing authority of such political party, organization or association, shall notify in writing the Department of Elections in their County of their desire to hold a primary election stating the day on which they desire the election held, which notification shall be at least two weeks prior to the time for holding such primary election. If no previous notice shall have been received by such Department from any other political party of its desire to hold a primary election on that day, the said Department of Elections shall so notify the Chairman or Secretary of the political party, organization or association from whom such notice was received.

The Chairman or Secretary of a political party holding a primary election, at least one week prior to the day on which such election is held, shall submit to the said Department, in writing, a list containing the name and address of the Inspector for each primary election district, which list shall also state the primary election district in which each Inspector shall serve. In New Castle County such Chairman or Secretary shall also notify, in writing, the Bureau of Registration for New Castle County of their desire to hold a primary election. The time when such notice is to be given, the time to submit a list of Inspectors, and the information required therewith shall be the same as in the case of the Department of Elections as aforesaid.

Section 7. That 1782. Sec. 14. of Chapter 58, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1782. Sec. 14. Electors; Qualifications; Votes Received; How; May Vote at But One Primary Election; Return of Books by Inspectors; Neglect; Misdemeanor; Penalty:--The qualifications for electors under this Chapter shall be such as the political party, organization or association authorizing such election may prescribe and publish, and in default of any prescribed or published rules, the past usages of such political party, organization or association shall be recognized and adopted, and ignorance of such past usages shall be no defense against any of the penalties of this Chapter. As each person shall apply to vote at any primary election, the officers thereof shall examine the Books of Registered Voters, and if they find thereon the name of the person applying to vote and be satisfied that he is the person whose name is so registered, they shall enter the word "Voted" after his name and such voter shall not be permitted to vote at any succeeding primary election held for that particular election, by any other political party, organization or association. The entry of the word "Voted" as aforesaid shall be in such a manner as to indicate at what primary election the voter has voted. No person whose name is not contained in the Books of Registered Voters shall be allowed to vote or participate in any primary election. It shall be the duty of the Inspector, within two days after the day of the primary election, to return the said Books of Registered Voters used by him at any primary election to the Department or Bureau from whom he received the same, which shall preserve them. If any Inspector shall neglect, refuse or fail to return the said Books of Registered Voters as directed in this Section, the said Inspector so neglecting, failing or refusing, shall upon conviction therefor, be adjudged guilty of a misdemeanor and shall for every such offense be punished by fine or by imprisonment, or both, at the discretion of the Court.

Section 8. That 1786. Sec. 18. of Chapter 58, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1786. Sec. 18. Departments or Bureau to Deliver Books of Registered Voters; When; to Whom; Failure to Deliver; Misdemeanor; Penalty:--The Bureau of Registration for New Castle County, the Department of Elections for Sussex County and the Department of Elections for Kent County, respectively, shall before twelve o'clock of the day on which a primary election is held in their County by any political party, organization or association in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, deliver to the proper Inspector the two Books of Registered Voters for each general election district that may be contained within each primary election district, and it shall be the duty of the Inspector to have the said books at the place of holding the primary election at the time for opening the polls on primary election day.

In each year in which a Municipal Election is held in the City of Wilmington the Inspector for each primary election district within said City, before twelve o'clock noon of the day on which such primary election is held, shall be furnished by the Bureau of Registration for New Castle County with the two Books of Registered Voters, for each general election district that may be contained within such Inspector's primary election district, and it' shall be the duty of each Inspector to have the said books at the place of holding the primary election in his district at the time for opening the polls on primary election day.

If the members of the Bureau of Registration for New Castle County, the Department of Elections for Kent County or the Department of Elections for Sussex County shall refuse, neglect or fail to deliver to each Inspector of any primary election to be held within their County by any political party, organization or association, the two Books of Registered Voters as aforesaid, for each general election district that may be contained in the primary election district to which such Books of Registered Voters shall apply; or if any Inspector shall refuse, neglect or fail to have the said Books of Registered Voters at the place of holding the primary election for any general or special election or any Municipal Election in the City of Wilmington at the time designated in this Chapter, each member of such Bureau or Department as aforesaid, so refusing, neglecting, or failing shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof before any Justice of the Peace, or the Court of General Sessions, shall be punished for each such offense by a fine of One Hundred Dollars for each and every day of such refusal, neglect or failure, and such conviction shall of itself work a forfeiture of his office; and any Inspector so refusing, neglecting or failing as aforesaid shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of this Section.

Section 9. That 1797. Sec. 29. of Chapter 58, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1797. Sec. 29. Compensation of Primary Election Officers; How Paid:--The compensation of the officers and clerks for holding primary elections under the provisions of this Chapter shall be Five Dollars for each Judge and Clerk and Seven Dollars and Fifty Cents for each Inspector at each primary election so held.

The expenses for holding primary elections under the provisions of this Chapter, including stationery, and pay of officers and clerks shall be paid by the Levy Court of the County wherein such primary election is held to nominate persons to be voted for at the subsequent general election, and by The Mayor and Council of Wilmington in any year when a primary election is held in the City of Wilmington to nominate officers to be voted for at the subsequent municipal election in the said City.

Section 10. That 1801. Sec. 33. of Chapter 58, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1801. Sec. 33. Ballots; by Whom and When Printed; Form of; How Voted; Notice of Candidacy:--The political party, organization or association holding a primary election shall cause to be printed the ballots used at such primary election.

The names of all candidates for nomination for the same office shall be placed under the title of such office, the surname of candidates to be placed in alphabetical order, and shall not be separated one from another by any other matter. When there are several candidates for the nomination for the same office, the elector shall indicate his choice by crossing out the names of all the candidates except those for whom he desires to vote, and in case the elector has omitted to cross out the names on his ballot as aforesaid, the said ballot shall not be counted for any candidate for that office.

Any person desiring to be voted for as a candidate for nomination at any primary election shall notify the regularly organized and constituted County Committee, or governing authority of the political party, organization or association of which he is a member, in writing, at least fifteen days before such primary election is to be held. The ballots shall be printed and distributed at least five days before such primary election. Each candidate, upon request, shall receive at least five hundred ballots for each Representative District.

The Chairman of the political party, organization or association holding a primary election shall cause to be printed such further number of ballots as shall be requested by any candidate whose name appears on the ballots to be used at the primary election of such political party, organization or association; provided, however, the said Chairman shall not have printed any ballots upon the request or order of any candidate unless the said request or order shall have been made at least ten days prior to the day of holding the primary election at which such ballots are to be used, nor unless a deposit sufficient to cover the cost of the ballots to be printed is made at the time they are ordered by such candidate; the ballots provided in accordance with the provisions of this Section shall be delivered at least five days prior to the primary election at which they are to be used.

Section 11. Repeal of Inconsistent Provisions:--All Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency only.

Approved April 3, 1945.