§ 301 Appointment; term and compensation.
(a) The State Election Commissioner shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of 4 years and confirmed by a majority of the members elected to the Senate. Until such appointment and confirmation the State Auditor shall serve as the State Election Commissioner without additional compensation. In the event of a vacancy in the office, the Governor shall appoint a successor to fulfill the unexpired term and said successor shall be confirmed by a majority of the members elected to the Senate.
(b) The salary of the State Election Commissioner shall be as provided in the Budget Act.
(c) The State Election Commissioner shall serve in this capacity on a full-time basis and the State Election Commissioner's powers and duties prescribed by this title shall remain with the Election Commissioner and shall not be delegated to any other individual or group.
(d) The State Election Commissioner shall not hold or be a candidate for any:
(1) Federal, state, county, city or incorporated municipality elective office; or
(2) Elective office or position of a political party nor shall the State Election Commissioner be an appointed official to any federal, state, county, city or incorporated municipality, commission or administrative body. This limitation shall not apply to persons selected to serve on or appointed to the Election Assistance Commission's Standards Board or Board of Advisors established by P.L. 107-252 (The Help America Vote Act of 2002 [42 U.S.C. § 20901 et seq.]).
(e) The State Election Commissioner shall not directly or indirectly use or seek to use the State Election Commissioner's authority or official influence to control or modify the political action of another person or at any time participate in any political activities or campaigns.
§ 302 General powers and duties of Commissioner.
The Commissioner shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To furnish, by purchase, lease, or otherwise, such equipment, supplies and services that may be required in order to conduct the Commissioner's own powers and duties prescribed in this title;
(2) To order any department, board, commission or agency of this State to transfer to the Commissioner any equipment or supplies to the Commissioner's custody that are owned by the State and not in use by the department, board, commission or agency concerned, which may be used by the Commissioner in conducting the functions of the Commissioner's office;
(3) To select and maintain in the City of Dover, preferably in a building owned by the State, suitable office space;
(4) To make reasonable rules and regulations with respect to the functions of the Commissioner's office and with respect to the manner of making entries in registration and election records to be followed by the Department and all registration and election officers;
(5) To have the sole responsibility for the security of the records in the Commissioner's office which shall not be delegated to anyone;
(6) To prescribe the form of the registration and election records which under this title are to be uniform throughout this State so long as they are not in conflict with this title;
(7) To supply necessary instruction and assistance to the Department and all registration and election officers in order to insure uniform operation of this title throughout the State. In addition, the Commissioner may develop standards and operating procedures for the purpose of having a statewide uniform election system. These standards shall be directed toward ensuring consistency in the redistricting process, the use of technology and the conduct of general, primary special and school elections. The Commissioner shall collaborate with the Department in developing additional standards or amending or revising existing standards;
(8) Such other powers and duties as may be necessary in order for the Commissioner to carry out the Commissioner's own functions under this title;
(9) To be an ex officio member of the State Board of Elections;
(10) To attend each State Board of Elections meeting at which time the Commissioner may do the following:
a. Participate in any and all discussions; and
b. Cast a vote only in the event of a tie;
(11) To collect unofficial results for each primary, special and general election for each election district used in the said election and to tabulate, report and disseminate the results of the election as soon as possible to the public;
(12) Subject to the policies and directives of the State Board of Elections, to have general supervision over the county directors, deputy county directors, and other employees of the Department of Elections in carrying out their respective duties and responsibilities;
(13) To establish procedures to allow citizens to report possible violations of this title to the Commissioner, to any county director, or to deputy county director, which shall include procedures for anonymous reporting of possible violations thereto;
(14) To investigate information coming to the attention of the Commissioner that, if true, would constitute a violation of Chapter 80 of this title; and
(15) To prepare and publish manuals and guides explaining the duties of individuals covered by this title, including without limitation Chapter 80 of this title hereof, and to promulgate instructions and public information materials to facilitate compliance with, and enforcement of this title.
15 Del. C. 1953, § 303; 50 Del. Laws, c. 168, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 181, § 16; 57 Del. Laws, c. 384; 57 Del. Laws, c. 567, § 4; 58 Del. Laws, c. 215, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 306, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 13, 14; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 10.;
§ 302A Investigatory authority.
(a) In connection with his or her authority pursuant to § 302(14) of this title hereunder to investigate possible violations of Chapter 80 of this title, the State Election Commissioner:
(1) May appoint 1 or more investigators, having such experience and qualifications as shall be established by the Board of Elections, to investigate information coming to the attention of the Commissioner that, if true, would constitute a violation of Chapter 80 of this title. The activities of any investigator appointed hereunder shall be directed solely by the Commissioner, and such investigator shall not be deemed to be an employee of, or otherwise answerable to, the Board of Elections;
(2) Shall have the authority to subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance and testimony, administer oaths and affirmations, take evidence and require by subpoena the production of books, papers, records or other evidence needed for the performance of the Commissioner's duties or exercise of his or her powers pursuant to this section; and
(3) May refer any possible violation to the Attorney General or the United States Attorney for investigation and prosecution, either directly or following an investigation or preliminary investigation by the Commissioner hereunder.
(b) The authority of the Commissioner to investigate possible violations of Chapter 80 of this title shall not abrogate the right of the Attorney General to investigate or prosecute any violation or possible violation of this title.
§ 303 Duties upon receipt of a registration application.
(a) Upon receipt of a registration application from the Department, the State Election Commissioner shall have the registration application verified for completeness and accuracy. If the Commissioner's staff identifies a discrepancy with the application, the Department shall be notified and then correct the discrepancy.
(b) The State Election Commissioner shall use appropriate technology to maintain a permanent record of each registration application. Paper applications shall be retained for a minimum of 24 months and then maintained in accordance with the appropriate document retention schedule. A permanent copy of each electronic transaction shall be retained.
(c) The State Election Commissioner, in collaboration with the Department, may establish a program where the Department may create and archive an image of each paper registration application.
§ 304 Lists and files of registered voters.
(a) The State Election Commissioner shall deliver or cause to be delivered to each major political party in the State without charge the following:
(1) A file of all registered voters in the State once per month.
(2) A file of all registered voters in the State current as of the registration deadline before a primary or general election no later than 7 working days following the registration deadline for a primary or general election.
(3) Upon request, up to 8 copies of the list of registered voters for each election district in the State current as of the registration deadline before a primary or general election no later than 7 working days following the registration deadline for a primary or general election. These lists shall contain, as a minimum, the name, address, political party affiliation, and election district of each registered voter in each election district.
(b) The state chair of each major political party, or county chairs if there is no state chair, may designate in writing other persons, not exceeding 2 in each county, to whom all or specified portions of the party's lists are to be made available from the Commissioner.
(c) Upon request but no more than once per month, the State Election Commissioner shall provide without charge a file of all registered voters in the State to any minor political party eligible to place candidates on the ballot.
(d) The State Election Commissioner, in collaboration with the Department, shall prepare supplemental poll lists for each election district in the State that contain corrections and names of registered voters who have updated their registration records between the registration deadline and a date or dates selected by the Department. The Department shall make available 2 copies of the supplemental poll lists for the election districts within their jurisdiction to the principal political parties on the Saturday before a primary or general election.
(e) The State Election Commissioner shall, upon request, provide free of charge to any candidate for election who has qualified to appear on an upcoming primary or general election ballot a file and/or list of registered voters for the jurisdiction for which that person has qualified as a candidate.
(1) The request for a file and/or lists may be made by the candidate or by a member of the candidate's committee listed on the appropriate form filed in accordance with Chapter 80 of this title.
(2) The State Election Commissioner shall designate the file and lists that shall be provided free of charge.
(3) Requests for files or lists in accordance with this section shall be made no later than the last day of registration for an upcoming primary or general election. Requests made after this deadline will be produced as soon as possible, but so as not to interfere with production of files or products required by this title for the conduct of the election or those requested prior to the deadline stated above.
(f) The State Election Commissioner shall, upon request, but no more frequently than once per month, provide files of registered voters in the State to any State agency, county or local government for use in conducting State, county or local government business.
(g) The State Election Commissioner, in collaboration with the Department, shall establish a reasonable cost for files and lists of registered voters requested by persons or organizations not eligible to receive lists in accordance with this section. These costs shall be reviewed at least once every 2 years and updated as appropriate.
(h) Files and lists provided to members of the General Assembly and state agencies or county or local governments pursuant to subsection (f) of this section shall include voter names, addresses, political party affiliation, voting history, telephone numbers and dates of birth. Files and lists provided to major and minor political parties pursuant to subsections (a) through (d) of this section and to candidates for elective office pursuant to subsection (e) of this section shall be limited to voter names, addresses, political party affiliations, voting history, legislative district information, telephone numbers and years of birth. Files and lists provided to the public shall be limited to voter names, addresses, political party affiliations, voting history, legislative district information, and years of birth. The Delaware Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 100 of Title 29, shall not apply to information contained in voter lists and files created and maintained pursuant to this title.
(i) The State Election Commissioner, in collaboration with the Department, shall develop and implement policies and procedures for protecting the information about persons in the State's election management system, and on records and electronic media in the possession of the State Election Commissioner's office and the Department.
15 Del. C. 1953, § 305; 50 Del. Laws, c. 168, § 1; 52 Del. Laws, c. 221, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 181, § 17; 57 Del. Laws, c. 567, §§ 5, 6; 58 Del. Laws, c. 215, § 4; 58 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 4; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 2, 15-17; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 13.;
§ 305 Duplicate registrations.
At least monthly and within 10 days following the last registration day for each primary and general election, the Commissioner shall notify the county director and county deputy director of suspected duplicate registrations in any county where such duplicate registration is suspected to have occurred. The applicable county director and county deputy director shall review the list of suspected duplicate registrations and correct the registration records as appropriate.
§ 306 Coordination with state agencies.
The State Election Commissioner, in collaboration with the Department, shall implement as soon as practical automated transfers or exchanges of voter registration information and information necessary to maintain an accurate list of registered voters between the State's election management system and other state databases.
§ 307 Supplying lists to political party chairs and other persons.
§ 308 Political activity limited; penalty.
(a) No employee of the Office of the State Election Commissioner shall directly or indirectly use or seek to use that employee's own authority or official influence to control or modify the political action of another person or at any time actively participate in any political activities or campaigns.
(b) Any person who shall violate this section shall be fined not more than $500 and shall forfeit that employee's position or employment.