ACLU sues Delaware Department of Elections over vote by mail deadline


DELAWARE – The ACLU of Delaware is filing a lawsuit against the State Department of Elections over its vote by mail deadline.  “Voters may request their vote by mail ballots in enough time. They may mail them back in what they think is enough time. But because the Postal Service is moving so slow they may not reach the Department of Elections in time, and that could lead to thousands of ballots being thrown out,” said Executive Director of the ACLU of Delaware Mike Brickner.

Right now, people voting by mail must have their ballot mailed to the department of elections by 8 p.m. on election day – November 3rd. But the ACLU is asking the Department of Elections to extend the deadline to election day, and have all votes received up until ten days after the election to be counted. “There are many voters who can’t go and vote in person because of their health. So we have to make sure that there is a vote by mail system that works for all voters. What we’ve already seen is unfortunately Delaware’s deadline has already lead to many vote being thrown out,” said Brickner.

The ACLU says that because of the unique challenge of voting amid COVID-19 and recent issues with the United States Postal Service, voters should have more time. “Many of us may have not been able to foresee all of the slow down issues and all of the finance issues with the US Postal Service. Because of these problems we really have to reconsider this deadline and make sure that every person is able to cast a ballot,” said Brickner.

Brickner says he’s hopeful about the lawsuit because earlier this week a federal judge ruled that Georgia should extend its deadline in a similar case. “We know that a vast majority of people in Delaware have never cast a ballot by mail. So we want to make sure that we explain what you need to do for that system and make sure that people know how to use it – and make sure that people not make a mistake when they cast the ballot,” said Brickner.

47ABC did reach out to the State Department of Elections. The department said it would not offer comment on pending litigation.

Categories: Coronavirus, DE Election, Delaware, Local News