An Act further to protect the free exercise of the elective franchise.
Whereas, The enjoyment of civil liberty is of the most vital importance to any people claiming to be free: AND WHEREAS no such enjoyment can be had without the free and untrammeled exercise of the right to vote, which right should be protected, not only by penal sanctions, but by the creation and use of civil remedies; therefore;
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware, in General Assembly met, That if any person who is a duly qualified elector of this State, according to the Constitution and Laws thereof, shall hereafter be prevented from voting, or obstructed in his effort to vote at any election, by reason of an interference, by any person or persons, or military power, or other power, exercising or attempting to exercise force, intimidation or threats or requiring any qualifications or conditions unknown to such Constitution and Laws, he shall be deemed and taken to have suffered private damage and injury, and shall have civil remedy therefor, in the Courts of this State, by action of trespass, or on the case, according to the nature of the interference, against all and every person or persons who promote such interference, whether by active participation, or by advising, counseling or in any wise encouraging the same: and in any trial under this act, the jury, if, in their opinion the circumstances will warrant it, may give exemplary damages.
SECTION 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of every citizen of this State who has knowledge of any design on the part of any other citizen or citizens of this State to promote interference with elections, either by soliciting or advising, the presence of a military force at or near the place, or places of holding such elections, or by the employment of any other organized or unorganized body of men, or by intimidation, or threats, forthwith to make public disclosure of such knowledge, stating names, by an affidavit to be made before any one of the Judges of this State, and file the same in the office of the Clerk of the Peace of the county where the Judge resides, and if any such citizen, having such knowledge shall fail to make such affidavit and cause the same to be filed as aforesaid, he shall be treated as a promoter of interference mentioned in the first section of this act, and shall be liable as in provided.
SECTION 3. And be it further enacted, That the limitation of actions commenced under this act shall be ten years from the time of the accruing of the cause of action.
SECTION 4. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of State shall immediately cause a copy of this act, duly certified, to be published in all the newspapers of the State, such publication to, continue for one month.
Passed at Dover, October 28, 1964.