Suing the Governor to Protect Election Integrity

Posted on 07-23-2022

Today I filed a lawsuit on behalf of Michael Higgin, a candidate for state representative in the 15th district and Michael Mennella who serves as an inspector at our polling locations on Election Day, challenging two laws, signed today by the Governor, that allow for mail in voting and same day registration. It is our contention that the laws are unconstitutional.

Delaware‘s Constitution provides that a voter must appear in person at their polling location on election day unless they have one of several listed reasons why they are unable to do so. Those reasons include being sick or disabled, being out of the state for work or business or in service to the military for our state or country.

The new vote by mail law does not require that you meet any such criteria to vote remotely and therefore is unconstitutional.

Similarly, there are specific provisions in the Constitution regarding registering to vote. Those provisions require that new voters be allowed to register to vote and voters allowed to change their address and other information but specifically provides that the period to do so must end at least 10 days before the election.  For that reason, it is our contention that that law is also unconstitutional.

The legislators who voted for these laws and particularly for the vote by mail law know that it is unconstitutional. They have attempted for four years to pass a constitutional amendment that would allow them the freedom to make whatever laws they wanted with regard to our elections. A constitutional amendment requires a super-majority vote, that is more than a simple majority. When the Republican House caucus stood firmly and unified against that law, the Democrat majority was unable to pass the amendment. They, therefore, passed these statutes with a simple majority. Their actions and even their words show that they know that what they did was unconstitutional. Now the taxpayers of Delaware will be paying lawyers for the state to defend, if they choose to do so, those unconstitutional laws.  

And you have to ask, why are the Democrats hiding? They did not have a public signing ceremony for these bills. Rather, the Governor signed these bills on Friday – a day notoriously known in political circles as a day when you take action you don’t want a lot of press coverage regarding – at a private ceremony. Why aren’t  Kyle Evans and Krista Griffith and the other sponsors willing to stand up proudly and say “Look what I’ve done”?. Why would the Governor not proclaim these bills as publicly as possible,  and let every voter in Delaware know that the new rules will apply to them in the next election? I believe it is because they know that Delaware voters do not support the vote by mail law and because they know these bills have the potential to endanger the integrity of our elections in Delaware.   

I will keep you updated as to this litigation. I also wanted to give you an update on the previous litigation that I filed regarding early voting and permanent absentee status. Our brief has been submitted and their reply brief is due August 9. After that, the court will decide the matter before it, which is a motion to dismiss our lawsuit. I feel quite confident as to the merits of our claim, and do not expect that matter to be dismissed. Again, I will continue to keep you informed about the progress of both of these lawsuits. 

Thanks for your support, as always. Go Red!

Jane Brady 

Chair

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