TITLE 15

Elections

General Elections

CHAPTER 59. CONTESTED ELECTIONS

Subchapter I. Members of the General Assembly


Any person intending to contest the election or the eligibility of any one returned by the board of canvass as a member of either branch of the General Assembly from any of the counties of this State shall at least 20 days before the meeting of the General Assembly give written notice of such intention to the person whose seat that person intends to contest, and within 10 days after the notice shall deliver to the person a written specification of the several grounds upon which that person intends to contest the election or the eligibility of such person. If 1 of such grounds shall be that illegal votes were given at such election for the person so returned, then such specification shall particularly set forth the name of each alleged illegal voter, with the several objections to the legality of that voter's vote.

Code 1852, § 427; Code 1915, § 1893; Code 1935, § 2011; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 5901; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The person returned by the board of canvass as having been elected shall, within 15 days after receiving the notice specified in § 5901 of this title, deliver to the person contesting the elected person's seat a like specification of objections to the right of the contestant to such seat.

Code 1852, § 428; Code 1915, § 1894; Code 1935, § 2012; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 5902; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Every specification shall be verified by affidavit of the party delivering the same, stating that the party verily believes that the grounds of objection set forth are substantially true, and that the voters specified as illegal voters were not entitled by law to vote at the election in question.

Code 1852, § 429; Code 1915, § 1895; Code 1935, § 2013; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 5903; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Copies of the notice and specifications verified as provided in § 5903 of this title shall be delivered to the Speaker or President, as the case may be, of the house having cognizance of the matter. The contestant shall deliver the contestant's own notice and specifications with the contestant's petition on the first day of the session, and the sitting member shall deliver a copy of the sitting member's specifications to the Speaker or President when the sitting member delivers them to the contestant.

Code 1852, § 430; Code 1915, § 1896; Code 1935, § 2014; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 5904; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

In the trial of the case of a contested election, the parties shall be restricted to the grounds of objection in the specifications set forth and shall not examine into the illegality of any votes other than those specified as illegal nor impeach such votes for any causes other than those specified.

Code 1852, § 431; Code 1915, § 1897; Code 1935, § 2015; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 5905.;

If the house having cognizance of the matter determines that the sitting member is not entitled to that sitting member's own seat, it may order that the costs incurred by such contested election be paid by the State.

Code 1852, § 432; Code 1915, § 1898; Code 1935, § 2016; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 5906; 51 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 7; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The house in determining against the claim of the contestant may also decide that the proceeding on the contestant's part is frivolous and vexatious and may order that the contestant shall pay all the costs of the contested election, but without such order the contestant shall not be liable to costs and the same shall be paid by the State.

Code 1852, § 433; Code 1915, § 1899; Code 1935, § 2017; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 5907; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Any order for the payment of costs by the contestant shall be enforced by a writ issued by the Speaker or President, as the case may be, of the house in which such election was contested to the Sheriff of Kent County, directing the Sheriff of Kent County to levy and make the amount thereof of the goods and chattels, lands and tenements of the petitioner, under which writ the Sheriff shall sell the same, or such part thereof as may be necessary to satisfy the writ, upon 15 days notice posted as required in cases of sale on execution process, and shall pay over the amount by the Sheriff of Kent County received upon the writ to the State Treasurer for the purpose of reimbursing to the Treasury the sums drawn therefrom to pay the costs of the contested election.

Code 1852, § 434; Code 1915, § 1900; Code 1935, § 2018; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 5908; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;