New vote-by-mail and same-day voter registration laws were deemed unconstitutional by the Delaware Supreme Court on Friday, striking down changes that state Democrats hoped would improve voter turnout ahead of the midterm elections.
The decision came after justices heard arguments in the case that centered on whether the state’s constitution would allow all registered voters to cast a ballot through the mail and whether allowing people to register to vote on Election Day is allowed by provisions within the state constitution.
The court determined that the vote-by-mail law “impermissibly expands the categories of absentee voters identified” in the state constitution. The same-day registration law conflicts with the registration periods outlined in the constitution, the justices wrote in a three-page ruling.
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Delaware’s Supreme Court on Friday ruled that recently passed laws allowing universal vote by mail and same-day registration are unconstitutional, marking a win for state Republicans who had rallied against the legislation.
The court found that the two moves conflict with the registration and absentee voter categories outlined in the First State’s constitution. It upheld a prior ruling by the state’s vice chancellor, which rejected the vote-by-mail law, while overturning his upholding of the Election Day registration law.
The bills were passed in the final days of the state’s recent General Assembly, which ended in June. Democrats had previously tried to amend the state’s constitution but had not managed to secure the two-thirds support needed.
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