CHAPTER 426

PRIMARY ELECTIONS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 31, TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PRIMARY ELECTIONS AND NOMINATIONS OF CANDIDATES.

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

Section 1. § 3102, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is amended by striking out and repealing said section and by inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new § 3102 to read as follows :

§ 3102. Dates for holding primary elections

The time for holding any primary election, except primary elections to nominate candidates for municipal elections, shall be the third Saturday in August in the year in which such primary election is held.

Section 2. § 3111, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is amended by striking out and repealing said section and by inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new § 3111 to read as follows :

§ 3111. Qualifications of voters

An Elector may vote in the primary election of a political party only if he is a duly registered voter and if it appears upon his original permanent registration record that his party affiliation is the same as the party which is holding the primary election.

Section 3. § 3112, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is repealed.

Section 4. § 3121, § 3122, § 3164 and § 3170 are amended by striking out and repealing the words "Books of Registered Voters" and "two Books of Registered Voters" wherever those words appear in said sections, and inserting and enacting in lieu thereof the words "registration records".

Section 5. § 3161, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is amended by striking out and repealing said section and by inserting and enacting in lieu thereof a new § 3161 to read as follows:

§ 3161. Voting procedure

The voting procedure at any primary election shall be the same as at any general election, except that the officers shall first determine from the voter's original permanent registration record whether the voter's party affiliation is the same as the party holding the primary election, and if they are not the same, the voter shall not be permitted to vote in the primary election, The officers shall make no entries upon the Election District Record. The Department shall use the Voter Signature Cards which are returned to the Department at the conclusion of the election to determine whether or not a voter has voted in the primary election, and the Department shall make the appropriate notation of the fact that the voter has voted in the primary election upon the voter's original permanent registration record in the Election District Record. The Department shall notify the Commissioner of the names of the persons who voted in the primary election, and the Commissioner shall cause the punch-cards of such persons to be punched to indicate that fact.

Section 6. § 3164, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is further amended by striking out and repealing the words "within two days after the day of" and by inserting and enacting in lieu thereof the words "immediately after the close of".

Section 7. § 3103, Title 15 of the Delaware Code, is amended by striking out and repealing all of said section and substituting in lieu thereof a new § 3103 to read as follows:

§ 3103. Primary in all hundreds or districts to be on the same day

The primary election for all political parties shall be held in the several hundreds or districts on the third Saturday in August of a general election year.

Section 8. § 3105, Title 15 of the Delaware Code, is amended by striking out and repealing all of said section and substituting therefor a new § 3105 to read as follows :

§ 3105. Hours at polling places

The time for opening the polls for the purpose of conducting a primary election shall be seven o'clock in the morning and the time for closing the polls at such primary election shall be eight o'clock in the evening.

Section 9. § 3106, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is amended by striking out and repealing said section and by inserting a new § 3106 to read as follows :

§ 3106. Procedure when no contest

In case there be no contest for any office in any particular election district or districts, the Department shall be governed accordingly and shall not hold a primary election in any such election district or districts.

Section 10. § 3108, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is amended by striking out said section and by inserting a new section in lieu thereof to read as follows :

§ 3108. Notices by party authorities to governmental bodies in regard to primary elections

Whenever a political party desires to hold a primary election, the Chairman or Secretary of the regularly organized and constituted County or City Committee of such political party shall notify in writing the Department of Elections in their county of their desire to hold a primary election which notification shall be made by the first Saturday in August of a general election year.

Section 11. § 3109, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is amended by striking out all of said section and substituting therefor a new § 3109 to read as follows:

§ 3109. Conduct of primary elections

The county Departments of Elections and election officers shall conduct the primary elections in every respect in the same way that general elections are conducted and in accordance with the applicable provisions of this title except that the voting machines shall be operated so that the only levers open to each voter shall be the levers for candidates of the party of the voter's party affiliation as shown by the voter's original permanent registration record.

In the event that there is a contest in only one party in an election district all of the primary election officers and clerks for that district shall be of the same party affiliation as the party in which there is a contest, and they shall be selected by that party's district committee and the Department shall be notified of the names selected at least one week before the date of the primary election. Vacancies for any reason shall be filled by the district committee as they occur. Where there is a contest in more than one party in an election district the primary election officers and clerks shall be the same as the election officers and clerks selected for that district for the purposes of the general election.

Section 12. § 3122, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is amended by striking out the words "twelve o'clock" and "twelve o'clock noon" wherever they appear and by inserting in lieu thereof the words "seven o'clock A. M."

Section 13. § 3127, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is further amended by striking out and repealing the words "County Committee of the political party holding any primary election" and by inserting in lieu thereof the word "Department".

Section 14. § 3127, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is further amended by striking out and repealing the words "They" and "committee" as they appear in the second sentence thereof and by inserting in lieu thereof the words "The Department" and "Department" respectively.

Section 15. § 3128, Title 15 of the Delaware Code is amended by striking out and repealing said section and by inserting in lieu thereof a new § 3128 to read as follows :

§ 3128. Designation of polling places

The Department shall designate the place for holding a primary election in each election district in the same manner as it designates polling places for a general election.

Section 16. §3166 (b), Title 15 of the Delaware Code is amended by striking out and repealing said subsection and by inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection to read as follows :

(b) If any person appointed watcher so conducts himself as to interfere with the progress of the election he may, upon complaint made by the election officers to the Department, at the direction of the Department be removed from the room where such election is being held, and the candidate whose representative the watcher so removed was, shall be without representation during the continuance of the election.

Section 17. § 3173 (d), Title 15 of the Delaware Code is amended by striking out and repealing said subsection and by inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection to read as follows :

(d) In primary election districts where voting machines are used, the total vote cast for each candidate, as recorded on the voting machine, shall be entered by the judges holding such primary election for such primary district on the certificates furnished for such purpose; each certificate shall be signed by the Inspector, Judges and Poll Clerks, one of said certificates together with one poll list shall be delivered by the Inspector of the first secular day following such primary election to the Chairman of the regularly organized County or City Committee, as the case may be, of a political party holding such primary election ; a certificate and all keys to the voting machines, and one poll list shall be delivered to the Department of Elections in an envelope furnished for that purpose ; said envelope shall be sealed and each officer shall sign his name across the seal of said envelope.

Section 19. Only persons who register in the year 1956 under the permanent registration system enacted into law during the session of the 118th General Assembly of the State of Delaware shall be eligible to vote in any primary election held prior to the general election in the year 1956 and the provisions of this Act shall apply to any primary election held during the year 1956 any provision of § 1102 (c), Title 15, Delaware Code to the contrary notwithstanding.

Section 20. Any act or parts of an act inconsistent with this act are repealed to the extent of any such inconsistency.

Approved July 11, 1955.