TITLE 15

Elections

Primary Elections and Nominations of Candidates

CHAPTER 31. PRIMARY ELECTIONS

Subchapter IV. Procedure at Polling Places


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.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 20; 22 Del. Laws, c. 285, § 3; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1694; 40 Del. Laws, c. 142, § 8; Code 1935, § 1782; 45 Del. Laws, c. 150, § 7; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3161; 50 Del. Laws, c. 426, § 5; 51 Del. Laws, c. 107, § 5; 57 Del. Laws, c. 567, § 23.;

(a) The inspector, immediately after the close of the primary election, shall return the registration records used by that inspector at any primary election to the department from whom the inspector received the same, which shall preserve them.

(b) Whoever, being an inspector, neglects, refuses or fails to return the registration records as directed in this section shall, for each such offense, be fined in such amount or imprisoned for such term, or both, as the court in its discretion may determine.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 20; 22 Del. Laws, c. 285, § 3; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1694; 40 Del. Laws, c. 142, § 8; Code 1935, § 1782; 45 Del. Laws, c. 150, § 7; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3164; 49 Del. Laws, c. 4, § 5; 50 Del. Laws, c. 426, §§ 4, 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The inspector, immediately after the close of the primary election, shall return the registration records used by that inspector at any primary election to the Department, which shall preserve them.

(b) Whoever, being an inspector, neglects, refuses or fails to return the registration records as directed in this section shall, for each such offense, be fined in such amount or imprisoned for such term, or both, as the court in its discretion may determine.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 20; 22 Del. Laws, c. 285, § 3; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1694; 40 Del. Laws, c. 142, § 8; Code 1935, § 1782; 45 Del. Laws, c. 150, § 7; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3164; 49 Del. Laws, c. 4, § 5; 50 Del. Laws, c. 426, §§ 4, 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 60.;

Whoever, at any primary election, being a presiding officer or judge, knowingly and wilfully receives, or advises or consents to the receiving of, the vote of any person not entitled to vote at such primary election; or whoever, at any primary election, being a presiding officer or judge, knowingly and wilfully refuses to receive the vote of any person entitled to vote at such primary election, shall, for every such offense, pay $100 to any person who sues for the same or be fined not less than $100, and, in either case, be imprisoned until the judgments, fines and costs are paid in full or discharged by the court.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 21; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1695; Code 1935, § 1783; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3165.;

(a) Each candidate for nomination at any primary election may appoint and accredit some suitable person as a challenger. One challenger for each candidate whose name appears on the ballot for that election district may be present inside the polling place and shall be permitted to observe the conduct of the primary election and all the election records. The challengers may be changed and their places filled in like manner during the day.

(b) The duties, privileges and activities of these challengers shall be governed by § 4934(a) and (b) and other pertinent sections of this title, consistent with this chapter.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 32; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1706; Code 1935, § 1794; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3166; 50 Del. Laws, c. 426, § 16; 57 Del. Laws, c. 181, § 43; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 43.;

Repealed by 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, § 42, effective Feb. 1, 2010.;

(a) Whoever, at any primary election:

(1) Falsely personates any elector or other person and votes or attempts to vote in or upon the name of any person, whether living or dead, or in or upon any false, assumed or fictitious name, or in or upon any name not that person's own; or

(2) Knowingly, wilfully or fraudulently votes more than once for any candidate for the same office; or

(3) Votes in any other primary election district than the 1 in which that person is a bona fide resident; or

(4) Votes or attempts to vote more than 1 ballot at any primary election district; or

(5) Solicits from any candidate or from any other person or receives, directly or indirectly from such candidate or from any other person, any money, or promise of place or position, or any valuable consideration of any kind, for that person's vote or support; or

(6) Not being entitled thereto, votes or attempts or offers to vote in any primary election district; or

(7) Having once voted, attempts or offers to vote again; or

(8) Knowingly, wilfully or fraudulently does any unlawful act to secure opportunity for himself or herself or for any other person to vote; or

(9) By force, threat, menace, intimidation, bribery or reward or offer to or promise thereof, or otherwise unlawfully either directly or indirectly, influences or attempts to influence any elector in giving that person's vote; or

(10) Promises any place or position for the purpose of securing any voter's support; or

(11) Prevents or hinders or attempts to prevent or hinder any qualified voter from freely exercising the rights of suffrage; or

(12) By any such means induces or attempts to induce any such voter to refuse to exercise any such right; or

(13) By any such means or otherwise compels or induces or attempts to compel or induce any inspector of any primary election or other officer of any primary election to receive the vote of any person not legally qualified or entitled to vote at the primary election in such district; or

(14) Knowingly, wilfully or fraudulently interferes with, delays or hinders in any manner any inspector of any primary election, clerk or other officer of such election in the discharge of such officer's duty; or

(15) By any such means or other unlawful means, knowingly, wilfully or fraudulently counsels, advises, induces or attempts to induce any inspector of any primary election, clerk or other officer of any primary election, whose duty it is to ascertain, proclaim, announce or declare the result of any such primary election or to give or make any certificate, document, report, return or other evidence in relation thereto, to refuse or neglect to comply with such officer's duty or to violate any law regulating the same, or to receive the vote of any person in any primary election district not entitled to vote therein or to refuse to receive the vote of any person entitled to vote therein; or

(16) Aids, counsels or advises, procures or assists any voter, person or inspector of any primary election or other officer of such primary election to do any act by law forbidden, or in this chapter constituted an offense, or to omit to do any act by law directed to be done;

shall, when not in this chapter otherwise particularly specified, for each offense be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

(b) Whoever votes at the primary election of more than 1 political party before any 1 general election shall be punished as provided in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Any act or deed declared an offense by the general laws of this State concerning elections and not in this section particularly mentioned shall also be an offense in all primary elections, and shall be punished in the same form and manner as is provided for the punishment of similar offenses by the general laws; and all the penalties and provisions of the general laws shall apply in such case with equal force and shall be as effective as though fully set out in this chapter.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 22; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1696; Code 1935, § 1784; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3168; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Whoever, either in or out of this State, 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 the giving or withholding or in any manner influencing the giving or withholding a vote at any primary election held for the purpose of selecting delegates or representatives to any political convention thereafter to be held for the purpose of selecting candidates for public office or for the purpose of selecting delegates to a national political convention thereafter to be held for the purpose of nominating candidates for the office of President and Vice President of the United States, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 or imprisoned not less than 1 month nor more than 3 years, or both.

Code 1915, § 1715A; 29 Del. Laws, c. 109, § 1; Code 1935, § 1803; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3169.;

(a) Whoever, being an inspector of any primary election, clerk or other officer or person having the custody of any registration records, oaths, return of votes, certificates, poll lists or any paper, document or evidence of any description in this chapter directed to be made, filed or preserved, steals, wilfully destroys, mutilates, defaces, falsifies or fraudulently removes or secretes the whole or any part thereof, or fraudulently makes any entry, erasure or alteration therein, except as allowed and directed by this chapter, or permits any other person to do so, shall, for every such offense, be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

(b) Whoever, other than an officer mentioned in subsection (a) of this section, commits any of the acts specified in such subsection (a) or advises, procures or abets the commission of the same shall, for every such offense, be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, §§ 16, 17; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, §§ 1690, 1691; Code 1935, §§ 1778, 1779; 45 Del. Laws, c. 150, § 4; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3170; 50 Del. Laws, c. 426, § 4.;

Whoever, during the time that any primary election is in progress in any primary election district or during the time the ballots cast thereat are being counted:

(1) Brings, takes, orders or sends into, or attempts to bring, take or send into any place of holding any primary election, any alcoholic liquor whatever; or

(2) At any such time and place drinks or partakes of any alcoholic liquor;

shall, for every such offense, be fined not less than $5 nor more than $10.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 25; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1699; Code 1935, § 1787; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3171.;

As soon as the polls are closed at a primary election, the votes shall be tabulated as set forth in Chapter 49 of this title.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 28; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1702; Code 1935, § 1790; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3172; 57 Del. Laws, c. 567, § 26; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 44.;

The inspector and judges shall remove the paper tape containing the total vote cast for each candidate from each voting machine in the election district. Each copy of each paper tape shall then be signed by the inspector, judges and clerks and sealed in an envelope, which shall be signed across its sealed fold by each election officer. This envelope, together with other required records and supplies, shall immediately be delivered to the department of elections by the inspector.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 29; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1703; Code 1935, § 1791; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3173; 49 Del. Laws, c. 276, § 6; 50 Del. Laws, c. 426, § 17; 57 Del. Laws, c. 567, § 27; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 144; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, § 3.;

(a) The department of elections shall forthwith calculate the total number of votes cast for each candidate in any contest held within its county and certify the candidate or candidates receiving the highest number of votes. In cases of statewide contests, the department shall report the results to the State Election Commissioner.

(b) In the case of any objection or dispute, the board of elections for the county involved shall convene within 48 hours of the closing of the polls to examine the matter, reviewing such records and hearing such testimony as it shall deem necessary. The board shall determine the result of the contested election and certify the name of the winning candidate or candidates. In the case of statewide contests, the State Election Commissioner shall be immediately notified of the board's determination.

(c) In all cases of a tie vote, the department shall immediately notify the chair and secretary of the county committee of the political party holding the primary election. This committee shall convene within 5 days of such notification to determine which candidate shall be entitled to the nomination.

(d) In cases where there is a tie vote in a statewide contest, the State Election Commissioner shall immediately notify the chair and secretary of the state committee of the political party involved, and that committee shall convene within 5 days, as provided above, to decide upon the nomination.

(e) In the event that the number of votes separating a candidate and the closest opposing candidate in a primary election is less than 1,000 (in the case of a statewide contest) votes or one half of 1 percent (in the case of any contest) of all votes cast for the 2 candidates, whichever is less; the department or departments of elections shall recount the absentee ballots cast in that election at State expense as part of the canvass of the vote.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 38; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1712; Code 1935, § 1800; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3174; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 145; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 34.;

(a) The Department shall forthwith calculate the total number of votes cast for each candidate in any contest and certify the candidate or candidates receiving the highest number of votes. In cases of statewide contests, the Department shall report the results to the State Election Commissioner.

(b) In the case of any objection or dispute, the State Board of Elections shall convene within 48 hours of the closing of the polls to examine the matter, reviewing such records and hearing such testimony as it shall deem necessary. The Board shall determine the result of the contested election and certify the name of the winning candidate or candidates. In the case of statewide contests, the State Election Commissioner shall be immediately notified of the Board's determination.

(c) In all cases of a tie vote, the Department shall immediately notify the chair and secretary of the county committee of the political party holding the primary election. This committee shall convene within 5 days of such notification to determine which candidate shall be entitled to the nomination.

(d) In cases where there is a tie vote in a statewide contest, the State Election Commissioner shall immediately notify the chair and secretary of the state committee of the political party involved, and that committee shall convene within 5 days, as provided above, to decide upon the nomination.

(e) In the event that the number of votes separating a candidate and the closest opposing candidate in a primary election is less than 1,000 (in the case of a statewide contest) votes or 1/2 of 1 percent (in the case of any contest) of all votes cast for the 2 candidates, whichever is less; the Department shall recount the absentee ballots cast in that election at State expense as part of the canvass of the vote.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 38; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1712; Code 1935, § 1800; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3174; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 145; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 34; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 61.;

In all cases the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared the nominee of the political party holding a primary election.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 37; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1711; Code 1935, § 1799; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3175.;

Whenever it shall be determined that a duly nominated candidate will be unable to serve if elected because of death, physical, mental or other incapacity, the vacancy shall be filled as provided in § 3303 of this title. If the vacancy occurs subsequent to the dates specified in § 3303 of this title, it shall be filled in accordance with § 3306 of this title.

20 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 37; 27 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; Code 1915, § 1711; Code 1935, § 1799; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 3176; 60 Del. Laws, c. 414, § 9.;