TITLE 15

Elections

General Elections

CHAPTER 49. CONDUCT OF ELECTION

Subchapter III. Counting Votes and Post-Election Regulations


Repealed by 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, § 62, effective Feb. 1, 2010.;

(a) Votes cast on a direct recording electronic voting machine shall be considered legal votes once the voter has taken the necessary action or actions to cast a ballot. A voter who has cast a ballot on a direct recording electronic voting machine shall not be permitted to cast a 2nd ballot under any circumstances.

(b) Votes cast at any election on paper ballots shall be counted for whom they are intended as far as can be ascertained by the marks on the ballot. The following rules shall be observed in determining those votes on paper ballots that shall be counted:

(1) The voter shall mark the ballot for the voter's selections by placing a distinct mark in the box at the right of the name of the candidate and or response to a question for which the voter wants to vote;

(2) Where a voter indicates the voter's own selections in a manner not in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the election officers shall attempt to determine from the marks on the ballot the candidate or response that the voter intended to select;

(3) 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 intention can be determined;

(4) A voter may only vote for 2 or more choices for any office or question when specifically instructed on the ballot that it is allowable;

(5) Where a voter is permitted to make more than 1 choice for candidates and or responses to a question, the voter may make fewer than the allowable number of choices;

(6) If a ballot is marked for more names or responses than are permitted, it shall not be counted for that office or question, but it shall be counted for all other offices or questions on the ballot in accordance with these rules;

(7) If a ballot has been defaced or torn so that it is impossible to determine the voter's 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 where the voter's choice or choices can be determined;

(8) The misspelled, incomplete or minor variation of the name of a declared write-in candidate for an office shall be counted if the name as written bears a reasonable resemblance to the declared candidate's name and no other declared write-in candidate for the office has a name so similar to the name as written as to leave a reasonable doubt as to the voter's intention. Additionally, writing in the last name of a declared write-in candidate shall constitute a valid vote unless there are 2 or more candidates for that office with the same last name; and

(9) Writing in the name of either candidate for President or Vice-President shall constitute a valid vote for the slate.

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 21; 27 Del. Laws, c. 65, § 24; 27 Del. Laws, c. 65, § 23; Code 1915, §§ 1769, 1770; 40 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; Code 1935, §§ 1858, 1859; 44 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 2; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4974; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, §§ 92, 93; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 15; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 168, § 8; 76 Del. Laws, c. 315, § 2.;

Repealed by 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, § 62, effective Feb. 1, 2010.;

(a) After the polls have closed and the last voter has finished voting and exited the polling place, the inspector shall verify that each voting machine has been deactivated. The election officers shall then copy the protective counter number from each voting machine assigned to the election district onto section 3 of each of the voting machine certificate or certificates.

(b) After the polls have been closed on a voting machine, the officers shall remove the paper tape containing the results and the memory cartridge from the voting machine.

(c) After the memory cartridge or cartridges have been removed from each voting machine assigned to the election district, the inspector shall place said memory cartridge or cartridges into the envelope designated for the memory cartridge or cartridges and seal the envelope. The inspector shall give the envelope to the election officer assigned to deliver the memory cartridge or cartridges to the zone reporting station. The inspector shall then enter the date and time in section 2 of each of the voting machine certificates and direct the said election officer to sign section 2 of each of the voting machine certificates. The inspector shall then dispatch the said election officer with the envelope containing the memory cartridge or cartridges to the zone reporting station listed on the envelope containing the memory cartridge or cartridges. The election officer assigned to take the memory cartridge or cartridges to the zone reporting station shall depart the polling place immediately and go directly to the zone reporting station listed on the envelope containing the memory cartridge or cartridges. Upon arriving at the said zone reporting station, the said election officer shall give the envelope to a designated representative of the State Election Commissioner.

(d) After the election officer assigned to deliver the memory cartridge or cartridges to the zone reporting station has departed the polling place, each remaining election officer shall sign each copy of every paper tape removed from a voting machine assigned to the election district.

(e) After every copy of every paper tape has been signed, the inspector will separate the copies of each tape by cutting at the "cut here" line. The first copy of each paper tape (the copy with the zero count certification) shall be placed into the Prothonotary envelope and the first extra copy of each tape shall be placed into the Department of Elections envelope.

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 22; Code 1915, § 1776; Code 1935, § 1865; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4977; 49 Del. Laws, c. 294, § 19; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 94; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, § 9; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 2, 63.;

(a) After the paper tapes have been separated and placed in envelopes, the inspector shall remove the 1st copy paper tape or tapes (with zero count certification) from the Prothonotary envelope.

(b) The inspector shall then proceed to read distinctly each office voted for, starting from the top of each paper tape, and the names of the persons for whom votes were cast. If the name of the person voted for is not clear, the inspector and 2 judges shall examine the paper roll and determine, by majority vote, if necessary, the name to be entered on the write-in vote tally sheet. The judge of the opposite political party shall stand or sit with the inspector while the inspector reads off the write-in votes to verify the votes cast.

(c) Two clerks shall account on separate Write-in Vote Tally Sheets for each write-in vote for an office for a candidate on the ballot for that office, a declared write-in candidate for the office or for all other write-in votes for the office as "Other Write-in Candidates."

(d) After the counting is completed, the clerks shall compare their tallies and add up the number of votes cast for each person in the presence of the inspector and judges. They shall then announce the names of the persons voted for and the total number of votes cast for each person. The 1st copy paper tape (with zero count certification) from each voting machine assigned to the election district shall be placed in the envelope and shall be delivered to the Prothonotary.

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, §§ 23, 24; Code 1915, §§ 1777, 1778; Code 1935, §§ 1866, 1867; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4978; 49 Del. Laws, c. 294, § 20; 50 Del. Laws, c. 172, § 6; 57 Del. Laws, c. 567, § 43; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 95; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, §§ 10-13; 76 Del. Laws, c. 315, § 3.;

Any candidate and any duly accredited challenger may be admitted to the voting room after the closing of the polls to observe the counting and tabulation of votes. Such persons shall be afforded the full opportunity to examine the ballot, results tapes from each voting machine, voting machine certificates and the tally sheets.

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 29; Code 1915, § 1783; 34 Del. Laws, c. 111, § 3; Code 1935, § 1872; 45 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 13; 46 Del. Laws, c. 153, § 2; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 4979; 49 Del. Laws, c. 4, § 5; 50 Del. Laws, c. 172, § 7; 55 Del. Laws, c. 92, § 3; 57 Del. Laws, c. 567, §§ 44, 45; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 96; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, § 14; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 62.;

(a) After the write-in votes have been tallied, the inspector shall close the printer door and apply a seal to the printer door for each voting machine assigned to the election district. The inspector shall record the seal number on each of the voting machine certificates.

(b) After placing the curtain, absentee entry device and any other materials designated by the respective Department of Elections in the base of the voting machine, the inspector shall fold up the voting machine and apply a seal to the voting machine case. The inspector shall record the seal number on each of the voting machine certificates. The inspector shall repeat this procedure for each voting machine assigned to the election district.

(c) The election officers present shall sign all copies of the write-in vote tally sheets and section 3 of the voting machine certificates.

(d) The inspector shall place 1 copy of the voting machine certificate and write-in vote tally sheet in the envelope to be delivered to the Prothonotary and 1 copy of each of the said documents in the envelope to be delivered to the Department of Elections immediately following the closing of the polling place.

15 Del. C. 1953, § 4980; 50 Del. Laws, c. 172, § 8; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 97; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 16; 69 Del. Laws, c. 391, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, § 15; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 64, 65.;

(a) After the write-in votes have been tallied, the inspector shall close the printer door and apply a seal to the printer door for each voting machine assigned to the election district. The inspector shall record the seal number on each of the voting machine certificates.

(b) After placing the curtain, absentee entry device and any other materials designated by the Department in the base of the voting machine, the inspector shall fold up the voting machine and apply a seal to the voting machine case. The inspector shall record the seal number on each of the voting machine certificates. The inspector shall repeat this procedure for each voting machine assigned to the election district.

(c) The election officers present shall sign all copies of the write-in vote tally sheets and section 3 of the voting machine certificates.

(d) The inspector shall place 1 copy of the voting machine certificate and write-in vote tally sheet in the envelope to be delivered to the Prothonotary and 1 copy of each of the said documents in the envelope to be delivered to the Department of Elections immediately following the closing of the polling place.

15 Del. C. 1953, § 4980; 50 Del. Laws, c. 172, § 8; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 97; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 16; 69 Del. Laws, c. 391, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, § 15; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 64, 65; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 79.;

(a) After the close of the election, the inspector shall deliver an envelope containing the first copy of the paper tape (with "zero count" certification) from each voting machine in the election district, 1 copy of the voting machine certificate, 1 copy of the write-in vote tally sheet, if any, to the Prothonotary of the Superior Court for that inspector's county. The Prothonotary shall, on the second day following the election at 10 a.m. present said envelope to the Court. If the inspector of any election district dies or is prevented by sickness or accident from delivering the above-mentioned items to the Prothonotary the night of election day, the Prothonotary and/or the respective department of elections shall obtain the envelope from that inspector as soon as practical. The same shall apply to all envelopes, documents, poll lists, election records and supplies that the inspector is obligated to return to the department of elections following the close of the polls.

(b) At the end of the day of election, each inspector shall deliver to the office of the department of elections of the inspector's county these items:

(1) An envelope containing 1 copy of the paper tape with results from each voting machine in the election district, 1 copy of the voting machine certificate and 1 copy of the write-in vote tally sheet;

(2) Poll list;

(3) Oaths (or affirmations) signed by the election officers;

(4) The book, or books, of original permanent registration records provided as the Election District Record;

(5) All voter signature cards provided by the department;

(6) All tally sheets;

(7) All other supplies provided by the department, including the flag of the United States of America and the polling place flag.

(c) All certificates, poll lists, oaths (or affirmations), voter signature cards, tally sheets and other records of the election shall be filed in the department of elections for not less than 1 year following the election and shall be public records and, as such, admissible in evidence.

15 Del. C. 1953, § 4981; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 98; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, §§ 16, 17; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 66, 67.;

(a) After the close of the election, the inspector shall deliver an envelope containing the first copy of the paper tape (with "zero count" certification) from each voting machine in the election district, 1 copy of the voting machine certificate, 1 copy of the write-in vote tally sheet, if any, to the Prothonotary of the Superior Court for that inspector's county. The Prothonotary shall, on the second day following the election at 10 a.m. present said envelope to the Court. If the inspector of any election district dies or is prevented by sickness or accident from delivering the above-mentioned items to the Prothonotary the night of election day, the Prothonotary and/or the Department shall obtain the envelope from that inspector as soon as practical. The same shall apply to all envelopes, documents, poll lists, election records and supplies that the inspector is obligated to return to the Department following the close of the polls.

(b) At the end of the day of election, each inspector shall deliver to the office of the department of elections of the inspector's county these items:

(1) An envelope containing 1 copy of the paper tape with results from each voting machine in the election district, 1 copy of the voting machine certificate and 1 copy of the write-in vote tally sheet;

(2) Poll list;

(3) Oaths (or affirmations) signed by the election officers;

(4) The book, or books, of original permanent registration records provided as the Election District Record;

(5) All voter signature cards provided by the department;

(6) All tally sheets;

(7) All other supplies provided by the department, including the flag of the United States of America and the polling place flag.

(c) All certificates, poll lists, oaths (or affirmations), voter signature cards, tally sheets and other records of the election shall be filed in the department of elections for not less than 1 year following the election and shall be public records and, as such, admissible in evidence.

15 Del. C. 1953, § 4981; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 98; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, §§ 16, 17; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 66, 67; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 80.;

(a) Immediately after the election, and within the 2 days immediately following the day of election, the voting machines and absentee ballot boxes shall be stored in some safe and secure place provided by the department of elections. While the board of canvass is conducting its canvass of the vote, the machines and ballot boxes shall be in the custody of the Prothonotary. While in the Prothonotary's custody, the voting machines and the absentee ballot boxes may be opened and examined by order of the board of canvass or any other court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) After the board of canvass has completed its canvass of the vote, the Prothonotary shall turn custody of the voting machine and absentee ballot boxes over to the department of elections. The department shall leave the ballot boxes undisturbed and locked until the following February 1. During this period, the ballot boxes may be opened for inspection by any duly authorized member or agent of the General Assembly or the Attorney General. After February 1 the department shall be free to unlock, clean out, inspect and repair any absentee ballot box.

15 Del. C. 1953, § 4982; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 99; 60 Del. Laws, c. 403, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 506, § 18; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, §§ 63, 64.;

(a) Immediately following an election, the State Election Commissioner shall take each voter signature card and through electronic means, note that the voter participated in the election on the election district record.

(b) Voter signature cards and all other forms and records not of a permanent nature, which are used in the conduct of an election, shall be retained by the department for not less than 1 year following the election. The Commissioner may require that the department send the voter signature cards used in the election to the Commissioner to carry out the Commissioner's own duties under this section. In such event, the Commissioner shall return the voter signature cards to the department not more than 6 months following their delivery to the Commissioner.

15 Del. C. 1953, § 4983; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 100; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 505, § 6; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, § 2.;