CHAPTER 294

RESPECTING ELECTIONS

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15, DELAWARE CODE OF 1953 ENTITLED "ELECTIONS" RELATING TO BALLOTS, ELECTION SUPPLIES, POLLING PLACES, ELECTION OFFICERS AND CONDUCT OF ELECTION.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. § 4502 (c), Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended to read as follows:

(c) The ballots prepared under the provisions of this chapter shall be as hereinafter described. Each ballot shall have the Representative District number printed on the margin at the top; and in each Representative District in each County the official ballots shall be successively numbered beginning with number "1". The ballot shall as nearly as possible conform to the following design:

Number here

This strip must be detached before the ballot is put in the official envelope; and when voting must be shown to the Inspector.

OFFICIAL BALLOT

Representative District ___________

Presidential, Vice-Presidential, State, County, and District Ballot.

PARTY EMBLEM

DEMOCRATIC PARTY

PARTY EMBLEM

REPUBLICAN PARTY

 

For President

John Doe

For Vice-President

John Doe

 

For President

John Doe

For Vice-President

John Doe

 

For Governor

John Doe

 

For Governor

John Doe

 

For Lieutenant Governor

John Doe

 

For Lieutenant Governor

John Doe

In years when no President and no Vice-President are to be elected, the space provided for the names of candidates for such office shall not be made a part of the ballots, and the words "Presidential" and "Vice-Presidential" shall not be used.

Section 2. § 4503 (a), Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended to read as follows:

§ 4503. Printing and distribution of ballots

(c) The Clerk of the Peace in each County shall cause to be printed within this State, in the form prescribed by section 4502 of this title, one official ballot for each 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 the Clerk of the Peace according to the best information he can obtain. Except as otherwise provided in section 4505 of this chapter, the contract for printing and furnishing official ballots and official envelopes shall be awarded by the Clerk of the Peace after duly advertised bids, to the lowest responsible bidder.

Section 3. § 4503 (c), (d), (e), Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 are hereby repealed and a new subsection (c) is enacted in lieu thereof as follows:

(c) The Clerk of the Peace shall cause the ballots as provided in subsection (a) of this section to be carefully wrapped and tied in a single package for each election district in his county. Such packages shall contain ballots totaling one-fifth the number of voters in each election district in his county, and shall be delivered to the Department of Elections five days prior to the election, and the ballots therein contained shall be used only as provided by chapter 50 of this title.

Section 4. § 4504 (b) and (c), Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 are amended to read as follows:

(b) The number of envelopes to be provided and printed by the Clerk of the Peace shall be equal to the number of official ballots printed for each voter in each election district in his county. Each Clerk of the Peace shall cause the said envelopes for each election district in his county to be carefully wrapped and tied in a single package which shall be plainly marked and securely sealed with wax.

(c) The Clerk of the Peace in each county shall also provide and enclose in each package mentioned in subsection (b) of this section, one-half dozen black or indelible pencils or crayons and a sufficient number of rubber bands to secure each of the envelopes in the package. Each package for each election district shall contain envelopes equal to one-fifth the number of voters in the election district; such envelopes shall be delivered to the Department of Elections five days prior to the day of the election and shall be used only as prescribed by chapter 50 of this title.

Section 5. § 4507, Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is repealed.

Section 6. § 4508, Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended to read as follows:

§ 4508. Loss or destruction of ballots, envelopes or other supplies

If by any accident or casualty, the ballots, envelopes or other supplies delivered to any Inspector or other person by the Department of Elections shall be lost or destroyed such person having had such ballots, envelopes or supplies in his custody shall report the loss at once to the Department of Elections from whom the same were obtained, and make affidavit of the circumstances of the loss, whereupon the Department of Elections shall at once re-supply such person. In case such person having had in custody such ballots, envelopes or supplies fails or refuses to report and make proof of the loss, any qualified elector may do so, and thereupon the Department of Elections shall at once send a new supply of ballots, envelopes or other supplies by some trusty person. In case, for any reason, there should be found no ballots or other necessary means or contrivances for voting at the opening of the election, the election officers at such polling place shall secure the same as speedily as possible, and if necessary, such election officers shall have ballots printed or written and envelopes secured. Such ballots and envelopes shall conform as nearly as possible to the official ballots and envelopes, and the printing and the preparation and the care of the same shall be under the same provisions and penalties as the printing and care of the other ballots and envelopes prescribed in this chapter.

Section 7. § 4509, Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is repealed.

Section 8. § 4510, Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended to read as follows:

§ 4510. Ballot boxes; booths; tally sheets; ballots; envelopes; delivered

When such supplies are required to be used pursuant to chapter 50 of this title, the Department of Elections shall in addition to the supplies furnished under the provision of section 4515 of this chapter, deliver to the Inspector of any election district, two tally sheets, two ballot boxes, tape, sealing wax; booths; official ballots and envelopes. Each ballot box shall be of sufficient size to contain all the ballots and envelopes of the election district, with one of the tally sheets and one certificate of election. In the lid of one of the boxes there shall be a hole sufficient only to admit with convenience one ballot and envelope, and it shall be furnished with a lock and key for securing the lid. The lid of the other box shall be without a hole, and it shall be so constructed as to be secured with tape and sealing wax.

Section 9. § 4511, Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended to read as follows:

§ 4511. Tally sheets

When ballots provided for in this chapter are used pursuant to chapter 50 of this title, there shall be furnished for any such election district two tally sheets each of which shall consist of a margin on the left for the names of the persons voted for, and squares formed by parallel lines drawn from the bottom to the top of the sheet, each square to be sufficient to contain five distinct rows of five distinct marks in each row, and there shall be a sufficient number of squares in each row of squares from left to right to contain more marks than any person will probably receives votes in the election district.

Section 10. § 4512, Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is repealed.

Section 11. § 4515 (1), (2), (4), Chapter 45, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 are repealed.

Section 12. § 4706, Chapter 47, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended to read as follows:

§ 4706. Vacancies

If any vacancy occurs in the office of Inspector, Judge of Election, Registrar or Assistant Registrar, before the expiration of the full term from any cause whatever, the Department of Election having jurisdiction shall appoint a person to fill such vacancy from the unused names if any there be from the list furnished to such Department of Elections by the political party from which the Department made the appointment for the office which has become vacant. The person to fill the vacancy shall serve for the residue of the unexpired term. Such person shall possess the same qualifications and be qualified in the same manner, possess the same powers and perform the same duties as the original appointee. Every person appointed to fill a vacancy shall qualify forthwith. The neglect or refusal of any person appointed to fill a vacancy, to appear and qualify forthwith shall create a vacancy in such office.

Section 13. § 4910, Chapter 49, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended by adding at the end thereof, the following sentence:

This section to apply only when paper ballots are used in lieu of voting machines.

Section 14. § 4911, Chapter 49, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended by adding at the end thereof, the following sentence:

This section to apply only when paper ballots are used in lieu of voting machines.

Section 15. § 4913, Chapter 49, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended by adding at the end thereof, the following sentence:

This section to apply only when paper ballots are used in lieu of voting machines.

Section 16. § 4938, Chapter 49, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended by adding at the end thereof, the following sentence:

This section to apply only when paper ballots are used in lieu of voting machines.

Section 17. § 4939, Chapter 49, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended by adding new subsections as follows:

(d) Upon delivering a ballot to an elector, the Clerks of Election shall enter the number of the ballot in the columns opposite the name of such elector.

(e) This section shall apply only when paper ballots are used in lieu of voting machines.

Section 18. § 4941, Chapter 49, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is repealed.

Section 19. § 4977, Chapter 49, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended by adding a new subsection (d) as follows:

(d) In election districts wherein only voting machines are used, the provisions of this section shall apply so far as is consistent therewith.

Section 20. § 4978, Chapter 49, Title 15, Delaware Code of 1953 is amended by adding a new subsection (c) as follows:

(c) In election districts wherein only voting machines are used, the provisions of this section shall apply so far as is consistent therewith. In such election districts, one certificate and two poll lists shall be delivered to the Department of Elections which shall be retained by the Department subject to examination by the Board of Canvass. In calculating the votes cast by absentee electors, the Board of Canvass shall appoint representatives of each of the two principle political parties who after being duly sworn shall ascertain by an examination of registration books, or registration certificate received from an elector serving in the armed forces, is a registered voter, if it is found upon examination that such elector is duly registered as aforesaid, the persons after ascertaining such fact shall stamp the word "Voted" in the column opposite the name of each elector in the proper Books of Registered Voters or on the face of the certificate of registration as the case may be. Such voucher envelopes shall, in the presence of the members of the Board of Canvass, be opened and the official envelope containing the ballot shall be taken therefrom without removing the ballot, the official envelope containing the ballot shall immediately be deposited in a box or other receptacle, and the voucher envelope from which the ballot was taken shall immediately be deposited in a box or receptacle other than the one containing the official envelopes and ballots; when all the official envelopes containing the ballot of qualified absentee electors have been removed from the voucher envelopes as herein directed, the Board of Canvass shall cause the official envelopes to be taken, one at a time, from the container, the ballot taken therefrom and the vote accredited to the persons for whom it was cast and shall be added to the total in calculating the vote cast for such persons.

If upon examination it is ascertained that for any cause an absentee elector is not qualified to cast a vote then and in that event the voucher envelope shall not be opened but shall be returned to the Board of Canvass together with the reason for its rejection.

When the canvass of the vote has been completed the Board of Canvass shall deliver to the Prothonotary, in a sealed receptacle, all voucher envelopes opened and unopened and the Prothonotary shall keep them for ten days after which they shall be destroyed by fire, unless otherwise directed by competent authority.

Approved July 8, 1953.