Primary Elections and Nominations of Candidates

CHAPTER 30. Ballot Qualifications

§ 3001. Political parties.

No political party shall be listed on any general election ballot unless, 21 days prior to the date of the primary election, there shall be registered in the name of that party a number of voters equal to at least 1 0/1 0 0 of 1 percent of the total number of voters registered in the State as of December 31 of the year immediately preceding the general election year.

77 Del. Laws, c. 429, §  2

§ 3002. Unaffiliated candidates.

(a) No person shall qualify to appear on the general election ballot of this State as a candidate unaffiliated with a political party unless such person fulfills the requirements of this chapter and is so certified by the State Election Commissioner, if a statewide candidate, or the Department office for the county where the candidate resides, if not a statewide candidate.

(b) A candidate may not be listed as an unaffiliated candidate on any general election ballot unless the candidate files, on forms promulgated by the State Election Commissioner, on or before the close of the official business day on September 1 of the general election year, a sworn declaration with the State Election Commissioner, if a statewide candidate, or the Department office for the county where the candidate resides, if a nonstatewide candidate, stating that the candidate has not been affiliated with any political party for at least 90 days before the filing of the declaration, as required by this title. By September 1 of a general election year, the candidate shall file nominating petitions, as prescribed in this chapter, signed by not less than 1% of the total number of voters registered, as of December 31 of the year immediately preceding the general election year in the State, or if a nonstatewide candidate, of those voters registered to vote for that office which such individual seeks. To be removed from a general election ballot, the candidate must withdraw the nominating petitions on or before 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday after the certificate of nomination is submitted.

(c) The nominating petition shall contain such information and be on a form as prescribed by the State Election Commission. The following information shall, however, be contained in the petition:

(1) Name of the unaffiliated candidate and the office for which the candidate is filing;

(2) Signature, printed name, address at which registered, social security number and date on which signed by signer;

(3) A statement that the signer understands that by intentionally entering false information on the petition the signer may be subject to prosecution for perjury;

(4) A sworn notarized statement of the person circulating the petition that person witnessed the placing of each signature on the petition.

(d) Such petition shall be circulated and executed between January 1 and July 15 of the year in which the general election is held. Each registered voter signing shall do so upon a petition prepared for the county in which that registered voter is registered, and the petition shall be filed with the Department. The signatures and other information thereon shall be verified by the department receiving the petition.

(e) Signatures may be rejected for the following reasons:

(1) The signer was not a registered voter on the date the signer signed the petition;

(2) The signer’s place of residence or the signer’s Social Security number do not match those appearing in the permanent registration record;

(3) The signer did not list that signer’s own Social Security number;

(4) It appears that the signature is a forgery;

(5) The signer’s identity cannot be verified because the information and/or signature submitted is illegible, incomplete or obscured.

(f) Where a petition or a part thereof is rejected, the individual submitting same shall have the right to learn the reason or reasons for such rejection and an opportunity to examine the signatures rejected.

(g) An unaffiliated candidate for a statewide office, the General Assembly, or any elected county office must request a criminal history background check from the State Bureau of Identification no earlier than 90 days before the candidate filing deadline and provide proof of the request before filing a declaration as required in subsection (b) of this section.

(1) An unaffiliated candidate who files a declaration under subsection (b) of this section will be considered a provisional candidate for election until the Commissioner has made the determination that the candidate is qualified under paragraph (g)(5) of this section.

(2) The State Bureau of Identification must provide the Commissioner within 10 days of the State Bureau of Identification’s receipt of the candidate’s request, a report of the candidate’s criminal history record or a statement that the State Bureau of Identification Central Repository contains no information relating to the candidate.

(3) The information received by the Commissioner from the State Bureau of Identification, under this section, is not a public record, as defined under Chapter 100 of Title 29.

(4) The criminal history background check must be paid for by the candidate but may be reimbursed to the candidate as an authorized campaign expenditure under this title.

(5) The Commissioner must determine by September 20 of each general election year that a candidate is qualified under §  21 of Article II of the Delaware Constitution before an unaffiliated candidate’s name may be listed on any general election ballot.

61 Del. Laws, c. 418, §  767 Del. Laws, c. 354, §  2070 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  179 Del. Laws, c. 275, §  4982 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 383 Del. Laws, c. 210, § 484 Del. Laws, c. 42, § 184 Del. Laws, c. 185, § 3

§ 3003. County ballots.

The Department shall not list a political party on any ballot within the county unless at least 1 candidate for that political party qualifies to appear on at least 1 ballot in the county.

74 Del. Laws, c. 411, §  2079 Del. Laws, c. 275, §  50