TITLE 15

Elections

General Elections

CHAPTER 49. CONDUCT OF ELECTION

Subchapter I. Procedure Prior to Opening Polls


Notice of an election shall be given by suitable news media and/or by publishing the same at least 5 days prior to any election.

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 8; Code 1915, § 1747; Code 1935, § 1836; 45 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 8; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4901; 58 Del. Laws, c. 215, § 34.;

If on the day of holding an election any election officer authorized by law to serve at the election in any election district shall be absent from the place of election at 7:00 in the forenoon, the inspector, if present, or, in the absence of the inspector, then any judge who may be present, shall immediately notify the department of elections for that inspector's or judge's county of such absence.

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 9; Code 1915, § 1748; Code 1935, § 1837; 45 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 9; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4902; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, §§ 74, 75; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

If on the day of holding an election any election officer authorized by law to serve at the election in any election district shall be absent from the place of election at 7:00 in the forenoon, the inspector, if present, or, in the absence of the inspector, then any judge who may be present, shall immediately notify the Department in that inspector's or judge's county of such absence.

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 9; Code 1915, § 1748; Code 1935, § 1837; 45 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 9; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4902; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, §§ 74, 75; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 74.;

Before reading and subscribing of the oath, the inspector shall read §§ 5123, 5124 and 5125 of this title to the assembled election officers.

19 Del. Laws, c. 37, § 25; 27 Del. Laws, c. 65, §§ 22, 32; Code 1915, §§ 1761, 1763; Code 1935, §§ 1850, 1852; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4903; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 51.;

Before opening the election, the inspector, judges, clerks and any other appointed election officers shall subscribe to the following oath:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that in the election to be held on the ________ day of ____________ A. D. ________ I will not knowingly or willfully receive or consent to the receiving of the vote of any alien, and also that I will not receive or consent to the receiving of the vote of any person whom I shall believe not entitled to vote, unless my associates shall adjudge such person to be entitled to vote. That I will not receive or reject, nor concur in receiving or rejecting any vote through partiality or under bias, and that I will determine every matter that shall come before me and perform every act and duty by law required of me, touching the election, truly, faithfully and impartially, according to the best of my skill and judgment; that I will cause the ballots that shall be taken at such election to be fully read and ascertained, and a true statement thereof to be made, according to the best of my knowledge and ability; that I have not received, nor will I receive directly or indirectly from or through any candidate to be voted for at such election, or any other person, any money, pay or other valuable thing or reward; that I have not been promised, or in any manner been led to believe that I will at any time directly or indirectly receive any money, pay or other valuable thing or reward from such candidate or other person other than that provided by law and if I shall discover any partiality, unfairness or corruption in the conduct of the election, I shall disclose the same the Department of Elections that is conducting the election and to the Attorney General to the end that the subject may be investigated, so help me God (or so I solemnly affirm)."

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, §§ 7, 12; Code 1915, §§ 1746, 1751; Code 1935, §§ 1835, 1840; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4904; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 52.;

Repealed by 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 53, effective Feb. 1, 2006.;

(a) The oath required in § 4904 of this title shall be administered by the inspector to the judges, clerks and other election officers appointed in the election district. A judge shall then administer the oath to the inspector.

(b) All election officers who are subscribing to the oath shall sign the oath of office. The inspector shall administer the oath to any election officer who was not present when the oath was administered to the other election officers. The election officer shall then sign the oath of office.

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 12; Code 1915, § 1751; Code 1935, § 1840; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4909; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 54.;

(a) The State Election Commissioner, in collaboration with the Departments of Elections for the counties, shall design a poster or posters that will be uniform throughout the State. The poster or posters shall be publicly displayed in each polling place on the day of the election. The poster or posters shall contain the following information:

(1) Information stating the date and hours during which the polling place will be open;

(2) Instructions on how to vote, including how to cast a vote and how to cast a provisional ballot;

(3) Instructions for mail-in registrants who are first-time voters under § 303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 [42 U.S.C. § 15483(b)];

(4) General information on voting rights under applicable federal and state laws, including information on the right of an individual to cast a provisional ballot and instructions on how to contact the appropriate officials if these rights are alleged to have been violated; and

(5) General information on federal and state laws regarding prohibitions on acts of fraud and misrepresentation.

(b) The departments of elections shall also provide for each election district 2 sample ballots applicable to such election district, which ballots shall measure approximately 10 inches by 12 inches and shall be arranged in the form of a diagram showing such portion of the front of the voting machine as will appear after the official ballots are arranged therein for voting. Such sample ballots shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each polling place on each election day. Such sample ballots shall be delivered to the departments of elections which shall in turn deliver them with the other election supplies to the proper election officers throughout the county.

(c) The departments of elections shall deliver sample ballots free of change for each unique ballot in the county to the county chairperson or the agent for the county chairperson for each party on the ballot at least 10 days prior to the date of the election.

(1) Major political parties shall be given 15 sample ballots unless the party chairperson requests fewer or more.

(2) Minor political parties shall be sent 1 sample ballot showing each office on the ballot unless they request more. Minor parties may receive up to 15 sample ballots without charge.

(3) Each department of elections shall establish the cost for additional sample ballots beyond the number specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection above.

(d) In addition to the sample ballots mentioned in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the department in each county shall cause to be printed such further number of sample ballots as shall be directed by the chair of any committee of any political party in any county. However, the department of elections shall not have printed any sample ballots upon the order or request of any chair of any committee of any political party unless the request shall have been made to him or her in writing at least 65 days prior to the holding of the election at which the sample ballots are to be used, nor unless a deposit sufficient to cover the cost of the sample ballots be paid at the time they are ordered.

19 Del. Laws, c. 37, § 16; 27 Del. Laws, c. 65, § 14; Code 1915, § 1736; Code 1935, § 1825; 45 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 6; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4910; 49 Del. Laws, c. 294, § 13; 54 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 76; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, § 6; 74 Del. Laws, c. 168, § 6; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, §§ 55-57; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, § 2.;

(a) The State Election Commissioner, in collaboration with the Department, shall design a poster or posters that will be uniform throughout the State. The poster or posters shall be publicly displayed in each polling place on the day of the election. The poster or posters shall contain the following information:

(1) Information stating the date and hours during which the polling place will be open;

(2) Instructions on how to vote, including how to cast a vote and how to cast a provisional ballot;

(3) Instructions for mail-in registrants who are first-time voters under § 303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 [42 U.S.C. § 15483(b)];

(4) General information on voting rights under applicable federal and state laws, including information on the right of an individual to cast a provisional ballot and instructions on how to contact the appropriate officials if these rights are alleged to have been violated; and

(5) General information on federal and state laws regarding prohibitions on acts of fraud and misrepresentation.

(b) The Department shall also provide for each election district 2 sample ballots applicable to such election district, which ballots shall measure approximately 10 inches by 12 inches and shall be arranged in the form of a diagram showing such portion of the front of the voting machine as will appear after the official ballots are arranged therein for voting. Such sample ballots shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each polling place on each election day. Such sample ballots shall be delivered to the departments of elections which shall in turn deliver them with the other election supplies to the proper election officers throughout the county.

(c) The Department shall deliver sample ballots free of change for each unique ballot in the county to the county chairperson or the agent for the county chairperson for each party on the ballot at least 10 days prior to the date of the election.

(1) Major political parties shall be given 15 sample ballots unless the party chairperson requests fewer or more.

(2) Minor political parties shall be sent 1 sample ballot showing each office on the ballot unless they request more. Minor parties may receive up to 15 sample ballots without charge.

(3) The Department shall establish the cost for additional sample ballots beyond the number specified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section above.

(d) In addition to the sample ballots mentioned in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the Department shall cause to be printed such further number of sample ballots as shall be directed by the chair of any committee of any political party in any county. However, the Department shall not have printed any sample ballots upon the order or request of any chair of any committee of any political party unless the request shall have been made to him or her in writing at least 65 days prior to the holding of the election at which the sample ballots are to be used, nor unless a deposit sufficient to cover the cost of the sample ballots be paid at the time they are ordered.

19 Del. Laws, c. 37, § 16; 27 Del. Laws, c. 65, § 14; Code 1915, § 1736; Code 1935, § 1825; 45 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 6; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4910; 49 Del. Laws, c. 294, § 13; 54 Del. Laws, c. 69, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 76; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, § 6; 74 Del. Laws, c. 168, § 6; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, §§ 55-57; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, § 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 75.;

(a) During the hours that a primary, general or special election is open, there shall be displayed at or near the entrance of each polling place so as to be readily visible a flag or poster bearing the words POLLING PLACE. The flag or poster shall be provided by the appropriate Department of Elections.

(b) The department of elections shall print individual, large-size wall maps for each representative district within the State. The individual maps shall also designate the boundaries of all election districts within each representative district, with every polling place therein plainly marked on the map.

(c) The representative district maps printed in compliance with this section shall be displayed in a prominent location in each polling place of such representative district during regular voting hours. Any voter shall be allowed access to said map to determine correct voting places, election districts and representative districts so long as there is no unreasonable interference with voting procedures.

Code 1935, § 1759; 42 Del. Laws, c. 116, § 1; 43 Del. Laws, c. 124, § 1; 44 Del. Laws, c. 112, § 1; 45 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 27; 45 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 27; 15 Del. C. 1953, §§ 4107, 4912; 55 Del. Laws, c. 458, § 2; 58 Del. Laws, c. 92; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 78; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 8; 67 Del. Laws, c. 354, § 28; 70 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 25.;

(a) During the hours that a primary, general or special election is open, there shall be displayed at or near the entrance of each polling place so as to be readily visible a flag or poster bearing the words POLLING PLACE. The flag or poster shall be provided by the Department.

(b) The Department shall print individual, large-size wall maps for each representative district within the State. The individual maps shall also designate the boundaries of all election districts within each representative district, with every polling place therein plainly marked on the map.

(c) The representative district maps printed in compliance with this section shall be displayed in a prominent location in each polling place of such representative district during regular voting hours. Any voter shall be allowed access to said map to determine correct voting places, election districts and representative districts so long as there is no unreasonable interference with voting procedures.

Code 1935, § 1759; 42 Del. Laws, c. 116, § 1; 43 Del. Laws, c. 124, § 1; 44 Del. Laws, c. 112, § 1; 45 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 27; 45 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 27; 15 Del. C. 1953, §§ 4107, 4912; 55 Del. Laws, c. 458, § 2; 58 Del. Laws, c. 92; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 78; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 8; 67 Del. Laws, c. 354, § 28; 70 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 25; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 75.;

(a) The election officers of each election district shall attend at the polling place three quarters of an hour before the time set for opening of the polls and shall proceed to arrange the furniture, stationery and voting machine for the conduct of the election. If not previously collected, the election officers shall collect from the department of elections a list of voters who have voted by absentee ballot and shall maintain the same at the polling place. The election officers shall cause to be posted conspicuously within the polling place an instruction poster and 2 sample ballots. They shall see that the light for the voting machine is in good order and that it is lighted, if that is necessary, in order that the names upon the ballot shall be clearly visible. They shall inspect the screen, hood or curtain of the machine to make certain that it has not been damaged or tampered with so as in any manner to lessen or endanger the secrecy of voting. They shall see to it that no mirror is placed or allowed to remain in such a position so as to permit a view of any part of the front, sides or top of the voting machine.

(b) The 2 voting machine certificates shall be delivered to the election officers at least three quarters of an hour before the time set for the opening of the polls. Section 1 of the voting machine certificates shall list the serial number, ballot number, machine case seal number, printer door number and the protective counter number for each voting machine assigned to the election district. Each election officer shall witness and verify that the numbers listed on the voting machine certificates are the same as the voting machine serial number, machine case seal number, printer door seal number, ballot number and protective counter number on the voting machine. If a number is different, the inspector shall strike through the number, enter the appropriate correction and initial the entry on each of the certificates. At the completion of this comparison, each election officer shall sign in the appropriate place in section 1 of each of the voting machine certificates.

(c) The election officers shall observe the opening of the polls procedure for each voting machine assigned to the election district. If the light in the polls ready to open box on the officer's control panel is in any other but the top position prior to the inspector pressing the open polls button, stop the procedure and contact the Department of Elections. The machine cannot be used. If, during the opening of the polls procedure, the paper tape shows "error all counters not zero," stop the procedure and contact the Department of Elections. The machine cannot be used. At the conclusion of the open polls procedure for each voting machine assigned to the election district, each election officer signs the paper tape. After the last election officer signs the paper tape, the inspector will close the write-in window.

19 Del. Laws, c. 37, § 15; 27 Del. Laws, c. 65, § 13; Code 1915, § 1764; Code 1935, § 1853; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4913; 49 Del. Laws, c. 294, § 15; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 79; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, § 7; 75 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 2; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 58; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, § 58.;

(a) A single representative of each political party which has nominated a ticket and which is represented on the ballot then printed for any general or special election may at the opening of the election be present to aid in the proper qualification of the election officers, but as soon as the election officers shall be qualified or ready to open the election, or the proper hour therefor having arrived, such representatives of such political party shall immediately retire from the voting room or the place where the election is held.

(b) No person, other than the election officers, and the party representatives mentioned in subsection (a) of this section shall enter the room in which the voting is to take place before the opening of the polls.

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 16; Code 1915, § 1755; Code 1935, § 1844; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4915.;