Proposed legislation calls for voting by mail in Delaware

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Voting by mail would come to Delaware under a bill headed to the General Assembly.

Sponsored by state Rep. Gerald Brady, D-Wilmington West, House Bill 175 would allow voters to vote by mail in primary, general or special elections beginning in 2022. Mail-in voting would in addition to existing in-person and absentee voting options for residents. It would not replace the current voting methods.

No co-sponsors were listed.

“Voting is one of the most important duties we have as citizens of our state and country. But limiting voting to one 13-hour period in person at a polling place limits people’s ability to cast their ballots,” stated Brady “I served our country in the military to protect every person’s rights, including the right to vote. And I believe that we should be doing everything in our power to ensure that as many people have the opportunity to vote.”

Under HB 175, ballots would be processed and scanned ahead of Election Day but not be tabulated until Election Day. Ballots could be mailed in, dropped off at any polling place on Election Day, or dropped off in a secure drop box at each county elections office before Election Day.

Studies show that states that offer vote-by-mail have higher turnout.

More than 20 states have provisions allowing certain elections to be conducted entirely by mail, while three of the states (Colorado, Oregon and Washington) have all-mail elections. Some states, such as Hawaii and Utah, are moving toward all-mail elections.

Delaware has been slow to adopt reforms aimed at improving turnout.

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