§ 1701 Qualifications for registration as qualified voter.
(a) Every applicant for registration shall be a qualified voter in a general or primary election if such applicant is a citizen of this State of the age of 18 years and upwards, or who will be 18 years old on or before the day of the general election next succeeding the applicant’s registration, and is a bona fide resident of this State. An applicant shall be a qualified voter in a special election if such applicant is a citizen of this State of the age of 18 years and upwards on the date of the special election. No person in the military, naval or marine service of the United States shall become a resident of this State by being stationed in any garrison, barrack, or military or naval place or station within this State; and no person adjudged mentally incompetent, person who is ineligible to vote under Chapter 61 of this title, or person rendered incapable of voting by reason of violating § 7 of Article V of the Constitution of this State for 10 years next following that person’s conviction and sentence thereunder, shall be a qualified voter. For purposes of this chapter, the term “adjudged mentally incompetent” refers to a specific finding in a judicial guardianship or equivalent proceeding, based on clear and convincing evidence that the individual has a severe cognitive impairment which precludes exercise of basic voting judgment.
(b) The Department shall permit registration of any citizen and bona fide resident of this State 16 years of age or older through the Division of Motor Vehicles as set forth in § 2050(a) of this title, provided that such applicant shall not be a qualified voter unless qualified under subsection (a) of this section.
19 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 8; 21 Del. Laws, c. 36, § 4; 22 Del. Laws, c. 64, §§ 1, 2; 24 Del. Laws, c. 66; Code 1915, § 1627; 37 Del. Laws, c. 117, § 6; 40 Del. Laws, c. 140, § 5; Code 1935, § 1714; 44 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 1; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 1701; 52 Del. Laws, c. 197, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 502, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 34, §§ 2, 5; 77 Del. Laws, c. 473, § 1; 82 Del. Laws, c. 141, § 9; 82 Del. Laws, c. 192, § 1.;
§ 1702 Removal of names by board of elections.
(a) At any duly called meeting of the State Board of Elections, the Board may sit to consider the removal of names from any County Master Record in cases where there is a valid reason to believe a person is no longer a duly qualified elector in the election district in which that person is registered.
(b) The board shall afford the affected voter the full right to be heard at such meeting with the right of appeal in all cases, first giving notice as required by § 1711 of this title [repealed].
Code 1935, § 1744; 45 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 15; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 1702; 49 Del. Laws, c. 4, § 5; 49 Del. Laws, c. 17, § 10; 50 Del. Laws, c. 169, § 7; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 25; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 18.;
§ 1703 Duty of officers to notify Department of facts suggesting voter disqualification.
The clerk or prothonotary of any court in this State having jurisdiction of felonies shall, when a person is convicted of a crime deemed by law a felony, notify immediately the Department and the State Election Commissioner. Such notification shall include a full, complete and accurate copy of the record of the name, present residence and last previous residence, date of birth, and Social Security number if available of each individual of voting age who has been convicted of a felony.
Code 1935, § 1744; 45 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 15; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 1703; 49 Del. Laws, c. 4, § 5; 49 Del. Laws, c. 17, § 11; 50 Del. Laws, c. 169, § 8; 57 Del. Laws, c. 181, § 25; 67 Del. Laws, c. 354, § 5; 73 Del. Laws, c. 34, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 19.;
§ 1704 Identification of persons who are no longer eligible to vote, establishment of an “inactive state,” cancellation of registration and provision for reregistration.
(a) The Department may use a list of persons registered to vote in Delaware and who are registered to vote in another state or who have obtained a driver’s license or state ID card from another state as a source to send an address verification request to those voters.
(b) The Department shall then send an address verification request via forwardable first class mail to each person on the list. The Department shall mail the request to the address at which the person is registered to vote unless the U.S. Postal Service vendor provides an updated address. The request shall ask the person to sign the return card and:
(1) Authorize cancellation of their Delaware voter registration because they are no longer permanent residents of the State; or
(2) Provide the address of their permanent place of residence if they still reside within Delaware.
(c) The address verification request shall include a postage-paid return card or envelope preaddressed to the Department.
(d) The Department, upon receipt of the returned notice and in accordance with the response, shall:
(1) Cancel the person’s registration; or
(2) Update the person’s voter registration record with the new address if it is within the Department’s jurisdiction;
(3) Update the person’s voter registration record showing that the person has certified that the address on the permanent voter registration record is their permanent place of residence.
(e) Sixty days following an address verification mailing in accordance with this section, the Department shall place all persons who did not reply to the address verification request mailed in accordance with this section into “inactive status.”
(f) A person shall be returned to active status if the person subsequently returns the return card with a new Delaware address or certification that the person has not changed their address, by completing any other voter registration transaction permitted by this title or by voting in any election conducted in accordance with this title or Title 14.
(g) On or before June 1 of each year following a general election, the State Election Commissioner shall remove from the voting rolls any person who has been in “inactive status” for 2 consecutive general elections.
(h) Persons classified as “inactive” shall remain eligible to vote in any election conducted in accordance with this title. Upon presenting themselves at their polling place they shall affirm in writing under penalty of perjury on the form promulgated by the State Election Commissioner the address of their permanent place of residence. If the person’s permanent place of residence is different than the permanent place of residence shown on the person’s permanent voter registration record, the person shall be permitted to vote at the polling place for the person’s permanent place of residence.
(i) A person properly removed from the voting rolls in accordance with this chapter must reregister in order to vote in any election conducted in accordance with this title. The county director and deputy county director may restore to the voting rolls a person removed in error through the process described in this chapter.
(j) The Department may put those persons who failed to respond to these notices mailed on or before August 2, 2017, in “inactive status” 60 days after the date of the mailing or August 2, 2017, whichever is later.
(k) The State Election Commissioner cancel the registration of any person who has been placed in inactive status by this section in accordance with § 2014(h) of this title.
§ 1705 Cancellation of registration of persons reported as deceased.
(a) The State’s Office of Vital Statistics shall send each month to the Department and to the State Election Commissioner a complete and accurate file or list of each person 16 years of age or older who has been reported to have died within the State since the previous report. The file or list shall contain, as a minimum: the decedent’s name, Social Security number, residence at time of death, date of birth, date of death, and death certificate number.
(b) The State’s Office of Vital Statistics shall in January and July of each year send a file or list to the Department and the State Election Commissioner containing the name, Social Security number, residence at time of death, state where died, date of birth, date of death, and death certificate number for each Delaware citizen 16 years or age or older reported to that office as having died in another state or country. Where complete data about a decedent is not available, the Office of Vital Statistics shall provide as much information as is available in the file or on the list.
(c) Upon receipt of a file or list from the Office of Vital Statistics, the Department shall cancel the registration of each registered voter whose name is on the list.
(d) The Department may cancel the registration of a person upon receipt of a copy of a death certificate or a written notice from the decedent’s spouse, adult child, sibling or parent.
(e) The Department may use an obituary from a Delaware newspaper as authority to cancel the registration of a registered voter who died in another state or country.
45 Del. Laws, c. 144, § 31; 45 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 34; 45 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 34; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 1705; 49 Del. Laws, c. 4, § 5; 50 Del. Laws, c. 169, § 10; 52 Del. Laws, c. 221, § 3; 57 Del. Laws, c. 181, § 26; 58 Del. Laws, c. 148, § 26; 67 Del. Laws, c. 354, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 14; 77 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§ 2, 21; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 21.;
§ 1706 Motion to remove a name from registration records; procedure; entries in records as to such motion [Repealed].
Repealed by 75 Del Laws, c. 232, § 15, effective Feb. 1, 2006.
§ 1707 Cancellation of registration due to a registrant having moved to another state.
(a) The Department shall consider notification from another state, election jurisdiction or election official that a person registered to vote in Delaware has applied to register to vote or who has registered to vote in another state as permission from that person to cancel that person’s Delaware voter registration.
(b) The Department shall consider a written notice from a spouse, adult child, sibling or parent that a registered voter has moved out of state as permission from that person to cancel that person’s voter registration. The notice shall be signed and the relationship to the previously mentioned voter stated.
(c) The State Board of Elections may cancel the voter registrations for any person who has moved out of state and given permission in writing or as otherwise provided in this section.
(d) Upon registration of a person in Delaware who is registered to vote in another state, the Department or State Election Commissioner shall notify the other state that the person has registered to vote in the State of Delaware.
§ 1708 Correction of errors.
(a) Department personnel, upon approval of the appropriate supervisor, may correct errors on a person’s voter registration record as necessary to maintain a complete and accurate voter registration list.
(b) The State Board of Elections shall approve any change in the year of birth of a registrant where there is a difference between the year submitted on a previous registration application and the year submitted on the most current registration application. The Board may, if deemed appropriate, refer such discrepancies to the Attorney General or the State Election Commissioner for investigation; provided, however, that any discrepancy referred to the State Election Commissioner shall also be referred to the Attorney General.
§ 1709 Reregistration unnecessary upon change in election district boundary.
Any elector whose name appears as a registered voter in an election district affected by a change of boundary shall not be required to reregister because of the change in election districts arising from the change of boundaries.
§ 1710 Notice of change of election district boundary.
When the boundaries of any election district have been changed, the Department shall notify each of the affected voters by mail.
§ 1711 Notice by registered or certified mail [Repealed].
Repealed by 75 Del Laws, c. 232, § 18, effective Feb. 1, 2006.