HOUSE BILL NO. 409
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 2
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ELECTIONS AND VOTING.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
Section 1. Amend §1906, Title 15 of the Delaware Code by striking the words “10 days” wherever they appear and substituting in lieu thereof the words “20 days”.
Section 2. Amend §2011(b), Title 15 of the Delaware Code by striking all the words after the phrase “applicant shall sign the application” in the last sentence and substituting in lieu thereof the words “and one registration officer shall sign his or her name in the space provided for that purpose on the application.
Section 3. Amend §2021(a), Title 15 of the Delaware Code by striking the words “The department for each county shall conduct mobile registrations throughout its county on a regularly scheduled year-round basis;” in the first sentence and substituting in lieu thereof the words “The department of election for each county shall conduct mobile registration as it deems appropriate;”
Section 4. Amend §2047, Title 15 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection thereto as follows:
“(6) The commissioner of elections shall promulgate rules and procedures by which the departments of election may accept transfers of address from registered voters between the closing of registration and the day of a primary, presidential primary, and general election both within their offices and at other locations within their respective counties. Such rules and procedures shall contain a provision by which a person so transferring his or her address in accordance with those rules and procedures may appear at his or her proper polling place and vote without completing the eligibility affidavit or envelope at the polling place as required in subsections (1), (2) or (3) of this section. The departments of elections in receipt of such transfers shall process them as soon as practical.”
Section 5. Amend § 2048, Title 15 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection thereto as follows:
“(c) The commissioner of elections shall promulgate rules and procedures by which the departments of election may accept changes of name from registered voters between the closing of registration and the day of a primary, presidential primary, and general election both within their office and at other locations within their respective counties. Such rules and procedures shall contain a provision by which a person so changing his or her name in accordance with those rules and procedures may appear at his or her proper polling place and vote without completing the voter registration application at the polling place as required in subsection (a) of this section. The departments of elections in receipt of such applications to change persons’ names shall process them as soon as practical.”
Section 6. Amend § 2049, Title 15 of the Delaware Code by adding a new section “(c) “ to read as follows:
“(c) Applications received that change a person’s political party affiliation during a period which a person may not change his or her political party affiliation in accordance with provisions of this title shall be held by the department of elections receiving the application and processed when the period to change a person’s political party affiliation reopens.”
Section 7. Amend § 2050 (a) (4), Title 15 of the Delaware Code by deleting the last sentence in said subsection and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
“If the applicant desires not to register to vote, the transmission of an electronic record will notify the Department of Elections of the applicant’s intention.”
Section 8. Amend § 5503, Title 15 of the Delaware Code by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
“§5503. Affidavits required of persons applying for absentee ballots.
(a) Any voter desiring to receive an absentee ballot because he qualifies under any of the reasons set forth in §5502 of this title shall file an affidavit with the department of elections for the county in which he/she is domiciled (hereinafter referred to as the department), subscribed and sworn to by the voter before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths; provided, however, that the affidavit of any voter desiring to receive an absentee ballot because the person qualifies under any of the reasons set forth in § 5502 (1), § 5502 (2) or § 5502 (4) may be self-administered. The affidavit shall be dated during the calendar year in which the election is to be held except that when a presidential primary election is scheduled, the affidavit shall not be dated prior to August 15 of the year prior to the year in which a President of the United States is to be elected. The voter shall indicate on the affidavit for which election or elections he/she is requesting an absentee ballot. It the voter does not indicate the election or elections for which he/she is requesting an absentee ballot, it shall be presumed that the affidavit is for the next scheduled primary, special or general election in which the voter is eligible to vote. An affidavit on which the person indicates that the reason he/she is requesting to vote by absentee ballot is that he/she is temporarily or permanently physically disabled or that he or she qualifies under any of the reasons set forth § 5502 (1) or § 5502 (2) of this title shall be presumed to be for all elections in a calendar year unless otherwise indicated on the affidavit. If the department is unable to determine the election and/or elections for which a person is requesting an absentee ballot, they shall attempt to contact the person in order to determine the person’s intent. If time is of the essence and the department is unable to contact the voter, the department’s Administrative Director and Deputy Administrative Director shall confer and determine the proper course of action.
(b) The affidavit shall include places for the voter’s name; the address of his/her domicile in the State; the address to which the voter requests that the absentee ballot be mailed; the voter’s date of birth; the voter’s social security number (optional); the person’s political party affiliation; the reason that the voter cannot appear at the regular polling place for his/her election district on the day of the election; the voter’s expected location on election day to include, if available, a telephone number to assist in resolving any challenge; and the voter’s signature.
(c) The affidavit shall be promulgated by the commissioner of elections and personally approved by the attorney general of the State. The Federal Post Card Application or its successor as promulgated by the Federal Voting Assistance Program or its successor shall also be considered an affidavit as used in this chapter.
(d) Affidavits for absentee ballots shall be filed at the department of elections for the county in which the person filing the affidavit is domiciled.
(e) Affidavits on which the voter’s domicile is different than the address at which the person is registered to vote within the State shall be used to transfer the person’s registration even if the affidavit is received after the last day to transfer registrations a prescribed in Chapter 20 of this title.
(f) Affidavits on which a voter indicates that he/she has legally changed his/her name shall be taken as authorization to transfer the voter’s previous registration information including his/her voting record to the new name. The department shall then use the affidavit to make the change on the department’s records even if the affidavit is received after the last day to change names as prescribed in Chapter 20 of this title.
(g) Affidavits on which a person indicates a change in political party affiliation received during a period in which changes in political party affiliation are closed shall be used to change the person’s political party affiliation when the period for changing political party affiliation re-opens.
(h) By filing an affidavit for an absentee ballot the voter is affirming under penalty of perjury that the information on the affidavit is correct and true.
(i) The department shall mail or deliver the official ballot, envelopes and instructions to the voter as soon as possible after receiving an affidavit for an absentee ballot but within three business days of such receipt.”
(j) Section 9. Amend § 208(b), Title 15 of the Delaware Code, by striking that section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
“The Board of Elections for each county may conduct an organizational meeting for calendar year 2000 on February 7, 2000, or as soon as practicable thereafter, and at that meeting shall elect one of their members to be president and shall at the same time elect one of their members to be the secretary whose function other than that of a member shall be to record the minutes of the meeting of the board, and the president and secretary shall serve until the next organizational meeting scheduled in accordance with this section. Thereafter, the Board of Elections in each county shall establish a schedule of meetings for the following calendar year at a meeting scheduled between October 1 and December 31 of each year. Once established, the aforesaid schedule shall be subject to change as deemed necessary by the respective boards. The schedule shall include an organizational meeting scheduled between February 1 and June 30 of each year at which time members of each Board of Elections for each county shall meet and organize by electing one member to be president and one member to be secretary whose function other than that of a member shall be to record the minutes of the meetings of the board. The terms of office for each office shall be until the organizational meeting scheduled in the following year or until a successor is elected.”
Approved April 04,2000