Lines get shorter after early voting surge in Delaware


Despite the heavy volume of mail-in ballots, lines were long today as Delawareans cast their ballots for president, governor, and numerous other local posts.

Website and social media photos from throughout the state showed long lines, with waiting times of an hour reported. Parking lots were filled and lines were long at two polling places a mile apart in the Bear area.

Similar scenes were reported in Brandywine Hundred, Middletown and Milford early Tuesday morning.

The lines became shorter late in the morning at many polling places.

Attorney General Kathy Jennings and Gov. John Carney said voting places have been peaceful, with nearly all people wearing masks. Masks are not mandatory in Delaware.

Jennings said resources are in place to deal with voter intimidation.

Facing off today against President Donald Trump is former Vice President and U.S. Senator from Delaware Joe Biden. Democratic Gov. John Carney is also seeking a second term, with Republicans choosing Julieanne Murray, a southern Delaware attorney, and critic of the governor’s emergency orders.

Biden stayed in Delaware today, with Donald Trump remaining at the White House, where is expected to hold a get-together with supporters. Reports indicate that preparations are being made today at the Chase Center on the Riverfront for what is likely to be an appearance by Biden, Vice Presidential running mate Kamala Harris and their spouses.

It is unclear as to whether either candidate can declare victory tonight, given the tight race in neighboring Pennsylvania. Biden appears to have more possible paths to victory than Trump who would more than likely need to carry the Keystone State.

Biden spent his early years in Pennsylvania before the family moved to Claymont.

Also seeking another term is U.S. Sen. Chris Coons a close ally of Biden. Controversial Republican Senate candidate In taking on Coons, Lauren Witzke has run a campaign with mini-rallies in parking lots. She has taken heat over statements that praised the alt-right group The Proud Boys and expressed satisfaction with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Biden spent most of yesterday in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, where polls seemed to indicate a tight race.

Influencing the turnout at the polls was lingering controversy over the role of the Trump Administration and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in slowing.down the mail system.

Trump also claimed that the mail-in voting system used by Delaware and other states would be subject to fraud, a charge that election officials have denied.

As early as a week ago, voters were advised to drop off their mail-in ballots. Delaware has only a handful of dropboxes.

The current mail-in ballot system is a temporary measure enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

All registered voters in Delaware were mailed a ballot. The state Republican Party attempted to halt the practice and use the absentee ballot process that requires a voter to request a ballot. That effort was struck down in Chancery Court and the state GOP opted not to file an appeal.

It remains to be seen if Delaware and other areas will see record turnout. Lines are common in a presidential election year, although observers said the number of in-person voters was unprecedented given the popularity of mail-in ballots.

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