TITLE 15

Elections

General Elections

CHAPTER 49. Conduct of Election

Subchapter III. Counting Votes and Post-Election Regulations

§ 4971. Counting absentee votes; penalty for disclosure [Repealed].

Repealed by 77 Del.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


§ 4972. Rules regarding what constitutes a legal vote.

(a) Votes cast on a voting device are 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 voting device may not be permitted to cast a second ballot under any circumstances. The paper ballot reflecting the voter’s choices is the legal ballot of record.

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

(1) The voter shall mark the ballot for the voter’s selections as instructed.

(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 may not be counted for that office or question but must 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 must not be counted for that office or question, but it must be counted for all other offices or questions on the ballot in accordance with the rules under this section.

(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 must not be counted for the offices or questions but must 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 must 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 constitutes a valid vote unless there are 2 or more candidates for that office with the same last name.

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

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, §  2127 Del. Laws, c. 65, §  2427 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, 9361 Del. Laws, c. 480, §  1570 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 168, §  876 Del. Laws, c. 315, §  282 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 25

§ 4973, 4974. Disqualified ballots; notation and preservation of disqualified or disputed ballots and envelopes [Repealed].

Repealed by 77 Del.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


§ 4975. Removing the results from the voting device or devices and dispatching the voted paper ballots in a secured container and the media containing the election results to the Department.

(a) (1) After the polls have closed and the last voter has finished voting and exited the polling place, the inspector shall close and secure each voting device as instructed and complete the required documentation.

(2) After the polls have closed, the election officers shall produce a report of the write-in votes.

(b) After the polls have closed, the election officers shall remove the ballot container and the media containing the election results from each voting device and deliver them to the Department as instructed.

(c)-(e) [Repealed.]

21 Del. Laws, c. 38, §  22;  Code 1915, §  1776;  Code 1935, §  1865;  15 Del. C. 1953, §  4977;  49 Del. Laws, c. 294, §  1958 Del. Laws, c. 148, §  9470 Del. Laws, c. 506, §  977 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§  2, 6382 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 26

§ 4976. Counting of write-in votes [Repealed].
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, §  2050 Del. Laws, c. 172, §  657 Del. Laws, c. 567, §  4358 Del. Laws, c. 148, §  9570 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 506, §§  10-1376 Del. Laws, c. 315, §  3repealed by 82 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 27, effective July 30, 2019.

§ 4977. Persons authorized to be present during the count and tabulation.

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, §  1346 Del. Laws, c. 153, §  2;  15 Del. C. 1953, §  4979;  49 Del. Laws, c. 4, §  550 Del. Laws, c. 172, §  755 Del. Laws, c. 92, §  357 Del. Laws, c. 567, §§  44, 4558 Del. Laws, c. 148, §  9670 Del. Laws, c. 506, §  1475 Del. Laws, c. 232, §  62

§ 4978. Securing the voting machine, voting machine certificates and tally sheets [Repealed].
15 Del. C. 1953, §  4980;  50 Del. Laws, c. 172, §  858 Del. Laws, c. 148, §  9761 Del. Laws, c. 480, §  1669 Del. Laws, c. 391, §  270 Del. Laws, c. 506, §  1577 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§  64, 6579 Del. Laws, c. 275, §  79repealed by 82 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 28, effective July 30, 2019.

§ 4979. Delivery of certificates, election records and supplies, voting machines, and absentee ballot boxes [Repealed].
15 Del. C. 1953, §  4981;  58 Del. Laws, c. 148, §  9870 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 506, §§  16, 1777 Del. Laws, c. 227, §§  66, 6779 Del. Laws, c. 275, §  80repealed by 82 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 29, effective July 30, 2019.

§ 4980. Return and custody of voting devices, media containing election results, and ballot container.

(a) Immediately after the election, and within the 2 days immediately following the day of election, all voting materials, including the voting devices, media containing the election results, and secured containers of voted paper ballots, must be stored in a safe and secure place provided by the Department. While the board of canvass is conducting its canvass of the vote, all voting materials must be in the custody of the Prothonotary. While in the Prothonotary’s custody, the voting materials may be 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 materials over to the Department. The Department shall leave the voted paper ballots and all documentation extracted from the media containing the election results undisturbed and locked for 22 months after the day of the election. During this period, the voted paper ballots and all documentation extracted from the media containing the election results may be inspected by any duly authorized member or agent of the General Assembly, the Attorney General, or the Department for the purpose of conducting an audit under § 5012A of this title.

15 Del. C. 1953, §  4982;  58 Del. Laws, c. 148, §  9960 Del. Laws, c. 403, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 506, §  1875 Del. Laws, c. 232, §§  63, 6482 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 30

§ 4981. Duties of Department and State Election Commissioner following an election.

(a) Immediately following an election, the Department shall upload all updated voter history from the electronic poll books to the State’s voter registration system.

(b) [Repealed.]

15 Del. C. 1953, §  4983;  58 Del. Laws, c. 148, §  10070 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 505, §  677 Del. Laws, c. 227, §  282 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 31