State of Delaware

Delaware Early and Absentee Voting Challenge

Mennella v. Albence

Lawsuit filed by the chair of the Delaware Republican Party and the conservative Public Interest Legal Foundation on behalf of a Delaware elections inspector challenging the state’s early and absentee voting laws. The complaint argues that the Delaware Constitution only allows voting to be held on one day, yet a law that goes into effect for the 2022 elections allows up to 10 days of early voting. The lawsuit also focuses on Delaware laws that allow voters to apply for “permanent absentee status,” which means that voters will automatically receive absentee ballots without having to reapply every election cycle. The complaint argues that this violates the state constitution’s strict requirements for absentee voting and may allow ineligible voters to cast an absentee ballot. The lawsuit asks the state court to block the challenged laws. This case was consolidated with Higgin v. Albence.

On June 16, 2023, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in the Superior Court of Delaware after the Delaware Chancery Court dismissed their claims for lack of jurisdiction. On Feb, 23, 2024, the Superior Court of Delaware ruled that the state’s early and permanent absentee voting laws violate the state constitution.

This case was appealed to the Delaware Supreme court which held oral argument on June 5, 2024.

RESULT: On June 28, 2024, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the decision below, ruling the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue. Early and absentee voting will be reinstated in Delaware.

Case Documents (STATE SUPreme court)

Case Documents (Superior Court of DelAWare)

Case Documents (Chancery Court oF Delaware)

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