CHAPTER 154 - GENERAL ELECTIONS TRANSFERRING DUTIES NOW PERFORMED BY CLERKS OF THE PEACE AND SHERIFFS TO DEPARTMENTS OF ELECTIONS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 60 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED, "GENERAL ELECTIONS", BY PROVIDING FOR THE TRANSFER OF CERTAIN ELECTION DUTIES NOW PERFORMED BY THE CLERKS OF THE PEACE AND THE SHERIFFS, TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS FOR EACH COUNTY RESPECTIVELY; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

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

Section 1. That 1811. Sec. 2, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the word, "twenty", where the said word appears in paragraph seven of the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof the word, "fifty".

Section 2. That 1813. Sec. 4, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by repealing the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section as follows:

1813. Sec. 4. Publication of Nominations; How Arranged; What Excluded:--At least ten days prior to a Presidential Election, the Secretary of State shall cause to be published in at least two newspapers within each County, a copy of the official Presidential ballot to be used at the next ensuing election, setting forth the names of the candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States of the various political parties as the same shall have been certified to him; and the Clerk of the Peace for each County, at least ten days before an election to fill any public office, except special elections, shall cause to be published in at least two newspapers within their County the nominations to office certified to them by the Chairman and Secretary of the several political party conventions or committees as herein provided. The Secretary of State, and the Clerks of the Peace in each County shall make no less than two publications in each of said newspapers before such election. Such publications shall be made in two newspapers representing the two principal political parties. In all Cities where a daily newspaper is published, such notice shall also be published in two daily newspapers representing such political parties, if such there be. Such publications by the Secretary of State and by the respective Clerks of the Peace shall be arranged, so far as practicable, in the order and form in which they will appear when printed on the ballots and shall designate the devices under which the lists of candidates of each party shall be printed. The Clerks of the Peace shall not include, in the publications to be made according to the provisions of this Section the name of any candidate whose certificate of nomination shall have been filed in their office, who shall have notified the Clerk of the Peace in writing duly signed and acknowledged that he will not accept the nomination. The name of such candidate shall not be included with the names of the candidates to be printed on the ballots as in this Chapter provided.

Section 3. That 1817. Sec. 8, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing the first and second paragraphs of the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"The Clerk of the Peace in each County shall cause to be printed, within the State of Delaware, in the forms and in the manner as in this Chapter provided, five ballots of each official ballot for every voter in each election district in his County; the number of voters shall be ascertained in each election district by reference to the highest number of votes polled therein at any preceding election, with due allowance for any estimated increase thereof. If a new election district has been established in his County, the number shall be estimated by said Clerk of the Peace according to the best information he can obtain.

It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the Peace in each County, in addition to the ballots mentioned in the preceding paragraph, to have printed and to deliver to the Department of Elections for his County, taking their receipt therefor, the ballots, and the official envelopes for absentee voters, authorized by the provisions of the absentee voting law or laws of this State, as soon as possible after the final date of the filing of nominations, but in any event forty-five days prior to the date of the ensuing general election. The quantity thereof shall not exceed two times the estimated number of absentee voters eligible to vote at the ensuing general election, as shall be estimated by the said Clerk of the Peace according to the best information he can obtain."

Section 4. That 1818. Sec. 9, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by repealing the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section as follows;

1818. Sec. 9. Election Supplies; Delivery to; by Whom:--It shall he the duty of each Registrar in this State, outside the City of Wilmington, to appear at the office of the Clerk of the Peace for his County, on the day preceding the election, before the hour of three o'clock in the afternoon, and the Clerk of the Peace shall deliver to him the ballots, envelopes, pencils and rubber bands for his election district; and the said Registrar shall safely keep the said packages and produce the same at the place of election and at the time of the opening of the polls. In case there be a vacancy in the office of Registrar on the day preceding the election or any Registrar for any cause shall not apply to the proper Clerk of the Peace for the packages herein mentioned by the hour of three o'clock in the afternoon of the day preceding the election, the said Clerk of the. Peace shall deliver the packages to some trusty person who shall deliver them on the day of the election to the Inspector of Election of such election district at the place of election and immediately upon the qualification of the Election Officers. The Registrar or trusty person, for his services in receiving and delivering at the place of holding the election as aforesaid the packages containing the ballots, envelopes, pencils and rubber bands, shall receive two dollars.

In the City of Wilmington it shall be the duty of the President of the Department of Elections for New Castle County or in case he cannot attend, of some other member or the Secretary of the said Department, to appear at the office of the Clerk of the Peace of New Castle County, on the day preceding such election, at or before three o'clock in the afternoon, and the said Clerk of the Peace shall deliver to him the packages provided for each election district in the City of Wilmington. The said Department of Elections shall, prior to the time for opening the polls as provided by law, deliver to the Registrar for each election district in the City of Wilmington, the ballots, envelopes, pencils and rubber bands intended for their several and respective election districts.

Section 5. That 1824. Sec. 15, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by repealing the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section as follows:

1824. Sec. 15. Ballot Boxes and Tally Sheets; Duties of Departments of Elections:--The Departments of Elections for the respective Counties shall make the ballot boxes and the tally sheets and all other papers and forms to be delivered to the several Inspectors of Election, conform to the requirements of this Chapter.

Section 6. That 1825. Sec. 16, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by repealing the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section as follows:

1825. Sec. 16. Instruction Cards: Printing and Posting of; Form of: - The Department of Elections for each County respectively shall cause to be printed in large type, on cards, instructions for the guidance of voters in preparing their ballots. They shall furnish four of such cards to each Inspector of Elections in their County, said cards to be delivered at the same time and in the same manner as provided for the delivery to him of the ballots and envelopes for his election district. Each Inspector shall cause to be posted one of the said cards in each place or compartment provided for the preparation of ballots, and one of said cards shall be posted near the entrance to the polling place but not nearer than thirty feet from the entrance to the polling place, and the inspector shall cause to be posted three samples of each of the ballots in and about the polling place, which sample ballots shall be printed on different colored paper from the official ballots. Sample ballots shall be furnished by the Clerk of the Peace. Said cards and sample ballots shall be posted prior to the opening of the polls on election day. Said cards must contain full instructions to the voters as to what must be done: FIRST, to obtain ballots and envelopes for voting; SECOND, how to prepare the ballots for voting; THIRD, for depositing the official ballot in the official envelope; FOURTH, to obtain a new ballot or envelope or both, in place of either or both accidentally defaced, mutilated or spoiled. Such cards shall have printed thereon copies of Sections 37, 39, 42, and 43 of this Chapter.

Section 7. That 1831, Sec. 22, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by repealing the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section as follows:

1831. Sec. 22. Departments of Elections to Deliver Election Supplies; When; to Whom:--The Department of Elections for each County in this State, shall, after the twenty-third day of October, and prior to the opening of the polls in each year in which a general election is held, deliver to the Registrar of each election district in their County, two suitable ballot boxes, with a piece of tape and sealing wax; together with five lists of all the officers to be chosen at the then next election, two printed forms of tally sheets, three certificates of Election, two printed forms of poll lists, one sheet of Instructions to Election Officers, one printed form for the oath or affirmation of Inspectors, Judges and Clerks of Election authorized to hold the election and containing the certificate of administering such oath or affirmation, and shall also deliver a book of blank forms of oaths provided for in Section 53 of this Chapter.

Section 8. That 1836. Sec. 27, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1836. Sec. 27. Time and Place of Election; Notice of by Registrar; Notice Posted by Whom:--The Registrar or other officer authorized by law to hold the election in each election district, shall within two days after receiving from the Department of Elections a list of officers to be chosen at the general election, give notice of the time and place of holding the then next general election in his election district by posting the Proclamations received by him from the Department of Elections, as herein provided, in at least five of the most public places in his election district.

Section 9. That 1837. Sec. 28, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1837. Sec. 28. Absence of Election Officer; Notice of:--If on the day of holding an election, the Inspector or any other officer authorized by law to serve at the election in any election district shall be absent from the place of election at seven o'clock in the forenoon, it shall be the duty of the Registrar, if present, or in the absence of the Registrar, then it shall be the duty of any Assistant Registrar who may be present, to immediately notify the Department of Elections for his County of such absence.

Section 10. That 1838. Sec. 29, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1838. Sec. 29. Election Officers; Provisions Regarding:--The Inspector authorized by law to hold the election in any election district shall be a Judge of the election held therein, and the presiding officer. There shall be two other Judges of the election in each election district.

The appointment, qualification, examination, certificate of appointment, terms of office, removal from office and the filling of vacancies among the election officers shall be as provided by law.

Section 11. That 1841. Sec. 32, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph thereof and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

1841. Sec. 32. Clerks of Election; Oath; Form of; Additional Clerks:--Each Clerk of the Election shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation which shall be administered to him by the Inspector or other officer authorized by law to hold the election, or by one of the Judges. The form of said oath or affirmation shall be as follows:

Section 12. That 1856. Sec. 47, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1856. Sec. 47. Admission of Voter to Election Room; Method of Voting; Conduct of Election Officers and Electors:--An elector upon entering the room where an election is being held, shall announce his name and address, whereupon the Clerks of the Election shall enter his name upon the Poll Lists, and one of the said Clerks of Election shall deliver to such elector an official envelope with the names of the Clerks of the Election written in full thereon and one of the Clerks shall also deliver to such elec. for an official ballot for the election district wherein the election is being held. The voter may then and without leaving the room go into any of the compartments which may be unoccupied and deposit the ballot which he desires to vote in the envelope delivered to him by the Clerk of the Election. Upon depositing the ballot in the said envelope he shall deliver the envelope containing the ballot or ballots to the Inspector, or Judge who may be 'authorized temporarily to act as Inspector; the Inspector shall then ascertain whether the elector is a duly registered voter in the election district, and if upon examination of the Books of Registered Voters for the election district, the elector is found to be duly registered, and has been passed by the challengers, the Inspector shall forthwith, in the presence of the voter and the other election officers, place a rubber band around the said envelope in such manner as to keep the ballot from falling out of the said envelope, and shall deposit the said envelope in the ballot box, and the Judges of the Election having in their possession the Books of Registered Voters, shall stamp or write the word "VOTED" in the column opposite the name of the voter in the said Books of Registered Voters. The voter shall immediately after voting leave the room, and upon his refusal to do so may be ejected therefrom. No voter to whom any official envelope has been delivered shall be permitted to leave the room without voting or returning the said envelope to the Clerk of the Election; any voter who shall attempt to leave the room with the envelope in his possession shall be arrested on demand of any election officer.

Section 13. That 1872. Sec. 63, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the words, "Clerk of the Peace", in the several places where such words appear in the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof the words, "Department of Elections".

Section 14. That 1873. Sec. 64, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by adding at the end of the said Section the following new sentence:

"The Sheriff shall then deliver the said ballot boxes to the Department of Elections for his County."

Section 15. That 1881. Sec. 72, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1881. Sec. 72. Compensation of Election Officers:--Inspectors of Election, Judges of Election and Clerks of Election, shall each receive Ten Dollars for each day's service rendered by them in holding any General or Special Election in this State, and Five Dollars for each day's service rendered by them for duties required of them or any of them on any other day than the day upon which such General or Special Election is held, except as otherwise provided.

Section 16. That 1882. Sec. 73, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1882. Sec. 73. Political Discussion in Polling Places; Prohibited; Penalties:--It shall be unlawful for any Inspector of Election, Judge of Election, Clerk of Election, or challenger, or any other person or persons within the polling place, during the election or counting of ballots, to electioneer or engage in any political discussion. Any election officer violating this Section shall be deemed to have knowingly and willfully violated his official duty. Any violation of this Section by any other person or persons other than an election officer shall be a misdemeanor, and shall upon conviction thereof be punished by imprisonment for not more than ninety days, or by fine of not more than Two Hundred Dollars, or both.

Section 17. That 1904. Sec. 95, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the words, "Clerks of the Peace", where such words appear in the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof the words, "Departments of Elections".

Section 18. That 1908. Sec. 99, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the word, "Sheriff", where such word appears in the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof the words, "Department of Elections".

Section 19. That 1909. Sec. 100, Article 2, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing all of the last paragraph of the said Section.

Section 20. That 1910. Sec. 101, Article 2, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1910. Sec. 101. Notice of Special Elections; How Given; to Whom:--The Department of Elections upon receiving a Writ of Election shall deliver to each Inspector authorized by law to hold such election, a copy of said Writ, and shall also deliver written notice of the day appointed and the place selected for holding an election pursuant to such Writ to the Inspector, Judges and Clerks of Election of any election district within such Representative or Senatorial District in which such special election is to be held. If any Inspector, Judge or Clerk of Election of any election district within such Senatorial or Representative District, shall be dead, removed, unable to serve or shall refuse to serve, such vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the law, and the said notice shall be delivered to the person or persons appointed to fill such vacancy or vacancies.

The Department of Elections shall give public notice of such election by advertisement posted in at least five of the most public places in each election district in the Senatorial or Representative District where such election is to be held, stating the day and the place of the election and the officer or officers to be chosen.

In New Castle County, the Department of Elections for New Castle County upon receiving a Writ of Election, shall deliver to the Bureau of Registration for New Castle County, a copy of the said Writ, the name of each Inspector authorized to hold such election and notice of the day appointed for holding an election pursuant to such Writ, and the said Bureau of Registration shall do and perform all the duties required of it for the holding of such election.

Section 21. That 1912. Sec. 103, Article 2, Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the words, "Clerk of the Peace", where such words appear in the said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof the words, "Department of Elections".

Section 22. That 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 9, 1945.