TITLE 14

Education

Free Public Schools

CHAPTER 10. REORGANIZATION OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Subchapter IV. Elections in Reorganized School Districts


(a) This subchapter shall apply to any election conducted in any reorganized school district by the school board of such district or by the State Board of Education. This subchapter shall be in addition to Chapters 19, 20 and 21, and to the extent that any provision of this subchapter is inconsistent with any provision contained in Chapter 19, 20 or 21, Chapters 19, 20 and 21 shall govern.

(b) As used in this subchapter:

(1) "Department of Elections conducting the election" means the Department of Elections in the county in which the office of the superintendent of a public school district is located and which is responsible for conducting elections in accordance with Chapters 10, 19, 20 and 21 of this title for that school district, except that public school elections in the Milford and Smyrna School Districts shall be conducted by the Department of Elections for Kent County and public school elections in the Woodbridge School District shall be conducted by the Department of Elections for Sussex County.

(2) "Election" shall include a referendum where applicable.

(3) "Public school election" means an election to elect 1 or more members to a board of education and any election conducted in accordance with Chapter 19, 20 or 21 of this title.

(4) "Reorganized school district" means a school district constituted and established in accordance with this chapter whether by reorganization, consolidation or division.

(5) "School board" means the board of education of a reorganized school district.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1071; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 13.;

(a) School elections, for whatever purposes, shall be held between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. prevailing local time during which time the polls shall remain open.

(b) The Department of Elections conducting the election shall designate and procure the buildings within the district, including buildings not owned by the school district, which shall be used as polling places for any public school election. The suitability, convenience and accessibility of a polling place to voters of the school district must be given prime consideration in its selection. Whenever possible, such polling place shall be located in public buildings which shall include suitable schools, government buildings, firehouses, community buildings, churches, financial institutions, lobbies or other gathering places. In the event that no public building is available in a conveniently located and readily accessible place, then the Department of Elections conducting the election may designate a suitable, conveniently located and readily accessible private business establishment.

(1) The reorganized school district for which an election is being conducted under this subchapter shall provide school district buildings designated as polling places and/or as election officer training sites by the Department of Elections conducting the election to that Department of Elections without charge for use or fee for custodial services.

(2) The Department of Elections conducting an election may establish one or more polling places for that election outside of the boundaries of the reorganized school district for which the election is being conducted as deemed necessary and proper by that Department of Elections.

(c) Elections for school board members shall be held annually on the second Tuesday of May; except, that when only 1 person files for election to a given vacancy the school board shall declare that person elected and shall not open the polls for an election to fill that vacancy.

(d) All public school elections other than school board elections shall be held on the date set by the local school board of the school district in which such elections are to be held and in accordance with subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

(e) All school districts are requested to consider scheduling an in-service day for the second Tuesday in May.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1072; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 63 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 255, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 515, § 23, 24; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 14; 74 Del. Laws, c. 334, §§ 1, 2, 3.;

The Department of Elections conducting an election under the provisions of this title shall appoint an inspector, 2 election officers for every voting machine assigned to a polling place. Two of the aforesaid election officers shall be designated as judges and the remaining election officers shall be designated as clerks. The Department of Elections conducting the election may assign additional clerks to polling places as deemed necessary.

(1) The inspector shall be the person responsible for the set up, operation and closing of the polling place and make all decisions regarding the aforesaid except for questions regarding voter eligibility.

(2) The inspector and both judges shall by majority vote decide all questions of voter eligibility.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1073; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 515, § 25; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 15.;

(a) The Department of Elections conducting a public school election for the purpose of electing members to a board of education shall give notice of such election by notices placed on each school building and by notices published in at least 1 newspaper with countywide circulation, or a combination of newspapers that cover the area or areas in the county where the school board seats are up for election. The notices shall be published at least 1 time per week during the 4 weeks prior to the date of the election. The last publication shall be not more than 5 days before the day of the election. Such notices shall plainly set forth the office or offices to be filled, the date, the time and the place or places of the election. The Department shall also post the notices on its website for 21 days prior to the election.

(b) School districts shall give notice of elections conducted in accordance with Chapters 19, 20 and 21 of this title by notices placed on each school building and by notices published in at least 1 newspaper with countywide circulation, or a combination of newspapers that cover the area or areas in the county where the school board seats are up for election. The notices shall be published at least 1 time per week during the 4 weeks prior to the date of the election. The last publication shall be not more than 5 days before the day of the election. For elections conducted under the provisions of Chapter 19 of this title, such notices shall plainly set forth the amount to be raised, the proposed rate of taxation, the purpose or purposes for the proposed additional taxes, the date, the time and the place or places of the election. For elections conducted under the provisions of Chapters 20 and 21 of this title, such notices shall plainly set forth the amount of the bonds proposed to be issued, the purposes and reasons for the bond issuance, the amount of each annual tax increase that would be imposed as a result of the proposed bond issuance, the application of any gifts or any other money on hand which are not required by law to be used for some other purpose to any major capital improvement project or project for which the bonds may be issued, and the date, time and place or places of the election. The school district shall also post the notices of elections conducted under the provisions of Chapters 19, 20 and 21 of this title on its website for 21 days prior to the election. The department conducting the elections shall also post the notice on its website for 21 days prior to the election.

(c) The notices to be placed on each school building as required by subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be posted on or near the front door of each school building in the school district in which an election is being held at least 21 days prior to the date of the election. The notices shall remain posted until the day following the election.

(d) In the case of an election for consolidation or division of a reorganized school district or districts, as the case may be, or for the changing of the boundaries of a reorganized school district, the notice of the election shall be by the Department of Elections in accordance with this chapter.

(e) At least 40 days prior to the date of an election to be conducted under Chapter 19, 20 or 21 of this title, school districts shall provide to the Department of Elections conducting the election a certified copy of the notice required by subsection (b) of this section and an affidavit signed by the Superintendent of the school district that the notice complies with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section. The Department of Elections shall determine whether the notice contains the information required by subsection (b) of this section and shall promptly notify the school district of any omission in the notice. If, at least 30 days before the date of the election, the school district has failed to cure any omission, the Department of Elections shall be authorized to cancel the election and such cancellation, if any, shall be effective upon written notice to the superintendent of the school district.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1074; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 59 Del. Laws, c. 507, §§ 1, 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 515, §§ 26, 27; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 16; 76 Del. Laws, c. 138, § 4; 77 Del. Laws, c. 226, §§ 1- 4.;

(a) No later than 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday in March, candidates for election to a board of education shall file a notice of candidacy on the form promulgated by the Commissioner of Elections for that purpose with the Department of Elections responsible for conducting the election. If the last day of filing is a legal holiday, the last day for a person to file shall then be the first business day next that is not a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday.

(b) In the event that there is only 1 candidate for the election of a school board member, the Department of Elections conducting the election shall declare the candidate elected, shall not hold an election for that seat, and shall issue a certificate of election to that candidate.

(c) A person may withdraw as a candidate by filing the form promulgated by the Commissioner of Elections for that purpose with the Department of Elections conducting the election.

(1) If the withdrawal creates a circumstance where there is no contest for a school board seat and there are no other school board seats or questions on the ballot, the Department of Elections conducting the election shall cancel the election.

(2) If there are at least 2 remaining candidates for the office and/or there are other offices or questions on the ballot, the Department of Elections conducting the election shall, time permitting, make new ballots.

(3) If time does not permit to make new ballots, the Department of Elections conducting the election shall take such action as is possible to inform the voters at the polling place of the withdrawal.

(4) If there are 2 remaining candidates for the office and there are 7 or more days prior to the date of the election, the Department of Elections conducting the election shall mail new absentee ballots to all persons who had voted by absentee ballot or had not returned absentee ballots mailed to them. If the replacement ballots are not returned by the close of the polls on the day of the election, the earlier ballot shall be counted. Votes shall not be tallied for persons who have withdrawn their candidacy.

(5) Any votes cast for a person who has withdrawn as a candidate shall be considered null and void and shall not be tallied, canvassed or reported.

(d) The county Departments of Elections shall give notice of the deadline for filing as a candidate for a seat on a board of education by notices published in at least 1 newspaper with countywide circulation or a combination of newspapers that cover the area or areas in the county where the school board seats are up for election. The notices shall be published at least 1 time per week during the 3 weeks prior to the filing deadline. The last publication of the aforesaid notice shall be not more than 3 days before the filing deadline. Such notices shall plainly set forth the office or offices to be filled, the deadline for filing a notice of candidacy, and the location at which candidates shall file their notice of candidacy.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1075; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 59 Del. Laws, c. 507, § 3; 65 Del. Laws, c. 247, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 515, §§ 28, 29; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 17; 77 Del. Laws, c. 226, § 5.;

(a) School elections shall be conducted by the use of voting machines.

(b) The Department of Elections conducting the election shall cause to appear on the machines next to the appropriate selection device the following:

(1) For the election of school board members, the names of all filed candidates shall be listed alphabetically without political party designation.

(2) For consolidation, division or change of boundaries of reorganized school districts the voting machine shall briefly state the question and provide for voting for or against the proposal, with such words:

For the proposal

Against the proposal

(3) For elections conducted in accordance with Chapter 19, 20 or 21 of this title the appropriate selection language.

(c) The Department of Elections conducting the election shall supervise the setting for the machines to denote the choices indicated in subsection (b) of this section and shall in advance of the date of the election instruct the designated election officers in the proper use of the machines.

(d) The needed election supplies shall be provided by the Department of Elections conducting the election.

(e) The cost of necessary election supplies shall be paid by the Department of Elections conducting the election.

(f) Any reorganized school district shall use voting machines and the appropriate department of elections shall pay the transportation for the voting machines and other necessary charges for the use of such voting machines. While conducting an election or referendum for any public school district, the district may not charge rent or custodial fees associated with the use of its space. Sufficient heat, when needed to maintain a minimum 68 degree Fahrenheit temperature for such facilities, shall be provided for the conduct of an election or referendum. For the clarification of county department of elections' costs relating to public school district elections, Smyrna School District and Milford School District elections will be conducted by the Kent County Department of Elections and Woodbridge School District elections will be conducted by the Sussex County Department of Elections.

(g) In case of an election for the consolidation, division or change of boundaries of a reorganized school district, all preparation for and cost of the election shall be borne by the department of elections that conducts said election or elections.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1076; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 66 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 515, §§ 1-4, 7, 30; 73 Del. Laws, c. 312, § 233; 73 Del. Laws, c. 321, §§ 1, 325; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, §§ 18-24.;

Every citizen 18 years of age or over and a resident of the reorganized school district shall be eligible to vote at the school election in the reorganized school district in which that citizen resides, whether or not that citizen is at the time a registered voter for purposes of a general election.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1077; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 58 Del. Laws, c. 411; 68 Del. Laws, c. 220, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

For the purpose of determining whether a person offering to vote at a school election is in fact the person he or she claims to be and is qualified to vote, that individual shall complete an affidavit, promulgated by the Commissioner of Elections, which shall affirm that the individual offering to vote is a qualified voter of the school district pursuant to § 1077 of this title. If it can be determined by a majority opinion of the inspector and both judges assigned to that polling place that the individual offering to vote has met the qualifications for that school election pursuant § 1077 of this title, then said individual shall be permitted to vote. Otherwise, an election official shall require the person offering to vote to produce reasonable identification of himself or herself and their place of residence in the school district. The said identification may be:

(1) Delaware driver's license;

(2) Delaware ID card;

(3) Work ID card with photo and address; or

(4) U.S. postal material.

If a vote is objected to for the reason that the person offering to vote is not qualified to vote in that school election, its admission or rejection shall be determined according to the opinion of a majority of the inspector and both judges assigned to that polling place.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1078; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 59 Del. Laws, c. 231, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 515, §§ 8, 9; 71 Del. Laws, c. 446, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, §§ 25, 26.;

(a) No person who receives or accepts or offers to receive or accept, or pays, transfers or delivers, or offers or promises to pay, transfer or deliver, or contributes or offers or promises to contribute to another to be paid or used, any money or other valuable thing as a compensation, inducement or reward for giving or withholding or in any manner influencing the giving or withholding a vote at any public school election, shall vote at such election unless such person being challenged for any of said causes takes and subscribes to the oath or affirmation as provided for in § 4940 of Title 15.

(b) Such oath or affirmation shall be conclusive evidence to the election officers of the truth of such oath or affirmation, but if any such oath or affirmation shall be false, the person making the same shall be guilty of perjury, and no conviction thereon shall bar any prosecution under § 8 of Article V of the Constitution of this State. Such oath or affirmation, when signed and attested as provided in this section shall be competent evidence in any proceeding against the party making the same.

74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 27.;

(a) For the election of school board members, a voter shall not vote for more candidates than there are school board memberships to be filled in the election. If only 1 school board member is to be elected, a voter shall vote for only 1 candidate. The voter shall place a mark in the square after the name of the candidate or candidates for whom the voter desires to vote, or, in the case where a voting machine is used, take the appropriate action on the machine as described in the posted instructions for the operation of said machine.

(b) For the consolidation, division or change of boundaries of a reorganized school district, the voter shall place a mark in the square after the item that expresses that voter's choice, or, in the case where a voting machine is used, take the appropriate action on the voting machine as described in the posted instructions for the operation of said machine.

(c) The voter expresses the voter's own intent on an absentee ballot as follows:

(1) Making a distinct mark in the square provided to the right of the name of the candidate or response to a question.

(2) If the voter indicates the voter's own choice in a manner other than the manner specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section the election officers shall attempt to determine the intent of the voter. If it is not possible to determine a voter's choice for an office or response to a question, the ballot shall not be counted for that office or question but shall be counted for all other offices and questions on the ballot where the voter's intent can be determined.

(3) If a ballot is marked for more names or responses than are permitted, it shall not be counted for that office or question but shall be counted for all other offices or questions on the ballot.

(4) If a ballot has been defaced or torn by a voter so that it is impossible to determine the voters choice for 1 or more offices or questions, it shall not be counted for such offices or questions but shall be counted for all other offices and questions on the ballot.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1080; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 28.;

(a) The Commissioner of Elections, in consultation with the county Departments of Elections, shall promulgate a Voter Eligibility Affidavit for Public School Elections that all voters in public school elections shall complete before voting. The aforesaid affidavit shall be printed as a 1-part form. The Commissioner of Elections and the county Departments of Elections shall at least once every 2 years meet to review the Voter Eligibility Affidavit for Public School Elections. Upon approval of a new version of the affidavit, existing supplies of affidavits shall be used until exhausted.

(b) As soon as possible after the close of a public school election the Department of Elections conducting the election shall check for persons who voted more than once by putting the completed Voter Eligibility Affidavits for Public School Elections into alphabetic order. The department shall refer any instances of persons voting more than once in a public school election to the Attorney General.

(c) The Department of Elections conducting the election shall make the affidavits available to the respective school district upon request and at no cost. The Department may satisfy this requirement by providing a copy of the affidavits to the school district. School districts that receive affidavits from a department shall return them to the Department no later than 90 days after receiving them.

(d) The affidavits and all other records of a public school election shall be retained for 5 years and then destroyed.

74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 29; 75 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 226, § 6.;

(a) Upon arriving at a polling place, a person shall complete a Voter Eligibility Affidavit for Public School Elections attesting to the voter's eligibility to vote in the public school election and then present the aforesaid affidavit and proof of the voter's identity and address as required in § 1078 of this title to an election officer.

(b) Upon being presented an affidavit and proof of the voter's identity by a person, the election officer shall then legibly print the name of the person onto a poll list, determine whether or not the person is eligible to vote in the election, and then annotate the affidavit as to whether or not the person shall be permitted to vote. If the person does not offer reasonable proof of identity and address as required in this section, the person may be permitted to vote by majority vote of the inspector and both judges. Poll lists created as required above shall be retained by the Department of Elections that conducted the election for 1 year following the day of the election. At the end of the aforesaid year, the poll lists shall be destroyed.

(c) If the election officer determines that the person is not eligible to vote in the election, the election officer shall refer the person to the inspector and both judges. The inspector and both judges after hearing and considering evidence shall by majority vote determine whether or not to permit the person to vote. Upon making the decision, the inspector shall appropriately annotate the affidavit and poll list. If the person is not permitted to vote, the inspector shall direct the person to depart the polling place and then the inspector shall file the affidavit in the appropriate place.

(d) If a person's eligibility to vote is challenged by anyone for any reason, the inspector and both judges shall immediately hear and consider the evidence and then by majority vote decide whether or not the person is eligible to vote. Once the inspector and both judges have made their decision, there is no appeal at the polling place. The person shall either be permitted to vote, or shall not be permitted to vote and directed to depart the polling place. A person who has not been permitted to vote may appeal the decision of the inspector and both judges to the administrative director or, in the administrative director's absence, to the deputy administrative director for the Department of Elections conducting the election.

(e) Upon hearing the evidence of an appeal by a voter, the administrative director or deputy administrative director for the Department of Elections conducting the election shall rule on the appeal. A person whose appeal is successful shall be permitted to vote at the polling place or by absentee ballot at the Department of Elections conducting the election.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1082; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 515, § 12; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 30.;

(a) The Department of Elections conducting an election in accordance with this title shall compile and announce the unofficial results as soon as possible after the close of the election. No later than 15 days following the close of a public school election, the Department of Elections conducting the election shall canvass the vote and certify the results of the election as provided in subsection (d) of this section. For the election of school board members, the persons receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared duly elected to the position of school board member. The Department of Elections conducting the election shall keep the certificate of the results of each public school election conducted under this title as a public record in their offices.

(b) In case of a tie:

(1) For the election of school board members, no later than the third Saturday in June following the May election, another election shall be held in accordance with this chapter to decide which of the candidates so tied shall be elected school board member;

(2) For an election pursuant to Chapter 19, 20 or 21 of this title and for elections to determine a consolidation, division or change of boundaries of a reorganized school district, another election shall be held not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days after the date of the tied election, in accordance with this chapter, in order to break the tie.

(c) The Department of Elections conducting the election shall give a certificate of election to each person elected to the office of school board member.

(d) Certification requirements.

(1) In the case of an election pursuant to Chapter 10 or 19 of this title, the Department of Elections that conducted the election shall present certification of the results to the superintendent of the respective school district no later than the 16 days following the day of the election. If the sixteenth day is a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, such presentation shall be made no later than 4:30 p.m. on the next business day.

(2) In the case of an election pursuant to Chapter 20 or 21 of this title, the Department of Elections that conducted the election shall present certification of the results to the superintendent of the respective school district and to the Secretary of Education no later than 16 days following the day of the election. If the sixteenth day is a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, such presentation shall be made no later than 4:30 p.m. on the next business day.

(3) In the case of an election to determine a consolidation, division or change of boundaries of a reorganized school district, the Department of Elections that conducted the election shall present certification of the results to the superintendent of the respective school district and to the Secretary of Education no later than l6 days following the day of the election. If the sixteenth day is a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, such presentation shall be made no later than 4:30 p.m. on the next business day.

(e) Within 96 hours following the certification of a public school election, 25 or more persons who voted in the aforesaid public school election may petition the Department of Elections that conducted the election for a recompilation of the results, if the difference in the election of a school board member or in an election conducted in accordance with Chapter 19, 20 or 21 of this title was less than 10 votes or 1/2 of 1 percent of the total vote whichever is larger. The petition shall contain the printed name, signature and the voting location of each petitioner. The recompilation shall be conducted no later than 5 business days after the verification of the petition. The Department of Elections that conducted the elections shall:

(1) Examine the voting machine tape from each voting machine used in the election and determine if the results were properly reported. The department shall then correct any results that were incorrectly reported.

(2) Examine the absentee vote tally sheets and determine if errors were made in reporting the absentee vote. The department shall then correct any errors in the reporting of the absentee votes.

(3) Count or cause to be counted all absentee ballots that were cast in the election and correct any errors in the tally that had been reported.

(4) Certify or, if necessary, recertify the recompiled results as required by this title.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1083; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 515, § 13; 71 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 53; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, §§ 31-34.;

(a) The type and form of the certificate of election and all other school election documents shall be determined by the Commissioner of Elections, in consultation with the county Departments of Elections, and shall be uniform throughout the State.

(b) The several departments of elections shall have and retain custody of all books, maps, forms, oaths of office and of removal, blanks, instructions and all other records and supplies of every kind or description pertaining to any school election conducted by the respective department for 1 year following the close of the election.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1084; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 515, § 14-16; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 35.;

Whoever votes at any school election, including elections pursuant to Chapters 19, 20 and 21 of this title, without possessing the qualifications prescribed by this subchapter, or having once voted, votes or attempts to vote or offers to vote again, or violates any of the other provisions of this subchapter or Chapter 19, 20 or 21 of this title shall, for each offense, be fined or imprisoned, or both, in accordance with the regular elections laws of this State.

14 Del. C. 1953, § 1085; 56 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 77 Del. Laws, c. 226, § 7.;

(a) Any individual qualified to vote in a school district election who shall be unable to appear to cast their ballot at the polling place of their school district on the date of the election may cast their vote by absentee ballot provided that the voter qualifies under 1 of the provisions of § 5502 of Title 15 and files an affidavit of eligibility, in a form prescribed by the State Commissioner of Elections, with the appropriate county department of elections by 12:00 noon, local time of the day prior to the election.

(b) The Commissioner of Elections, in consultation with the Department of Elections for the counties, shall promulgate an absentee voting system that shall include envelopes and instructions similar to those provided for in Chapter 55 of Title 15. The Department of Elections responsible for conducting a public school election within a reorganized school district shall prepare the appropriate absentee ballots for any election conducted in accordance with this title. Upon receipt of the executed affidavit of eligibility, by at least 12:00 noon of the day prior to the election, the department of elections shall:

(1) Deliver an official ballot to the elector if the elector personally appears at the appropriate department of elections office; or

(2) Follow the instructions contained within the elector's affidavit to mail the official ballot and instructions to the elector; provided, that the affidavit is received by the department of elections by at least 12:00 noon, local time, of the fourth day prior to the election.

(3) Nothing contained in this subsection shall prevent the issuance of an absentee ballot to those lawfully entitled thereto prior to 12:00 noon, local time, of the day prior to any school election when the request is made less than 3 days prior to the day of the election.

(4) All absentee ballots must be returned to the appropriate department of elections prior to the closing of the polls on the day of the election. All absentee ballots received after the closing of the polls shall be voided and not opened. Each absentee ballot received in this manner shall be stamped with the date and time it was received and initialed by a representative of the department and retained as part of the official election record.

(c) All absentee ballots received by the Department of Elections conducting the election prior to the close of the polls on the day of the election shall remain sealed and held within that Department of Elections until such time that the absentee votes are to be counted.

(d) The Department of Elections conducting the election may appoint one or more boards of election officers to tally the absentee votes for a public school election within the offices of that Department of Elections and/or designate 1 or more polling places to tally the aforesaid absentee ballots. The tallying of the absentee ballots may commence no earlier than 10 a.m. on the day of the election. The absentee tally shall remain secret until after the close of the polls on the day of the election at which time the results shall be added to the election results. Anyone violating that secrecy shall be punished as provided by law.

(e) All absentee voting records, materials, and ballots shall be retained by the Department of Elections conducting the election for 1 year following the close of the elections. At the end of the said year, the ballots, materials and other absentee voting records shall be destroyed.

67 Del. Laws, c. 447, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 271, §§ 1, 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 515, §§ 16-22; 74 Del. Laws, c. 122, §§ 36, 37.;

Electioneering as described in § 4942 of Title 15 is prohibited in any public school election.

74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 38.;

(a) No persons, other than members or employees of the Department of Elections conducting the election who shall be identified by a badge issued by that Department of Elections, the Commissioner of Elections and/or employees of the Office of the Commissioner of Elections who shall be identified by a badge issued by the Commissioner of Elections, appointed election officers, authorized challengers in accordance with § 1089 of this title, or persons voting or waiting to vote, shall be admitted within the voting room. Other persons necessary to the conduct of the election may be admitted within the voting room or within 50 feet of the entrance thereof upon first obtaining consent from the inspector, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Person or persons with other business within the building in which a polling place for a public school election is located may pass through the polling place area or by the room in which the polling place is located so as not to interfere with the conduct of the election. Such person or persons shall not loiter within 50 feet of the polling place, talk to any person or persons waiting to vote, promote any candidate or side to an issue, or in any other manner interfere with voters or disrupt the polling place. The inspector shall take those steps necessary to maintain order within the polling place as well as enforce § 1087 of this title and subsection (a) of this section.

(c) A voter may be accompanied by 1 or more children not more than 16 years of age. Any challenge to the age of any child shall be resolved by the voter signing an affidavit certifying that the child in question is not more than 16 years of age.

74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 39.;

(a) For school board member elections, each candidate on the ballot may appoint and accredit 1 or more suitable persons as challengers. One challenger from each candidate on the ballot may be present inside each polling place to observe the conduct of the election and all election records. The challengers may be changed and their places filled in like manner during the day. Each challenger shall present a challenger authorization for that particular election signed by the candidate before being permitted to sit as a challenger.

(b) For all other public school elections, 5 persons at a time may act as challengers. Persons desiring to sit as a challenger shall ask the inspector in the polling place for permission to serve as a challenger. If fewer than 5 persons are sitting as challengers, the person shall be seated after completing the challenger identification form. If 5 persons are already seated, no person shall be seated until 1 of the seated persons has left the polling place. Any challenger who leaves the polling place for any reason shall immediately surrender the challenger's own challenger badge to the inspector and shall be replaced by a person waiting to be seated as a challenger.

(c) A person serving as a challenger shall be issued a challenger badge that the challenger shall wear while in the polling place. If the person leaves the polling place the challenger shall surrender the badge to the inspector and for school board member elections retrieve the challenger authorization from the inspector.

(d) Challengers shall be peace officers with the same powers of preserving the peace as election officers and the challengers shall be protected in the discharge of their duty by the election officers; provided, however, the challengers shall not create any disturbance or obstruction and shall not unreasonably prolong any challenge or inquiry. The inspector shall have the duty to caution the challengers concerning the foregoing and, if a challenger persists in objectionable behavior, the challenger may be ejected by the inspector. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the substitution of another challenger for 1 who has been ejected.

(e) If an inspector wilfully ejects a challenger without cause, that inspector shall be deemed to have knowingly and wilfully violated that inspector's own official duty.

(f) Anyone legally within the polling place may challenge any voter for identity, address or bribery. The inspector and both judges shall hear each challenge immediately and before the person so challenged enters a voting machine. Once the inspector and both judges vote on the challenge, the matter is decided and the challenged person will either be permitted to vote or not permitted to vote depending on the decision. A person denied permission to vote shall leave the polling place immediately. A person challenged for bribery may take and subscribe to the oath as provided in § 4940 of Title 15. Once the person has taken and subscribed to the oath, the person shall be permitted to vote.

74 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 40; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;