WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Feb. 24, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Delaware elections inspector against the Delaware Department of Elections challenging the state’s early and absentee voting laws. The plaintiff, who is represented by the chair of the Delaware Republican Party and the conservative Public Interest Legal Foundation, argues that Delaware’s laws creating 10 days of early voting and establishing a permanent absentee voter list violate the Delaware Constitution and therefore conflict with his duties as an elections inspector. The lawsuit asks the state court to block the challenged 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 plaintiff alleges that the expanded early voting rules “conflict with and violate the Constitution of Delaware because they expand the administration of the general election beyond its constitutionally designated day.” 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 the statutes creating this should be blocked “because they grant eligibility to vote by absentee ballot indefinitely, and without consideration of the applicant’s eligibility at each subsequent election, as required by the Constitution.” The plaintiff argues that enforcing these laws that allegedly violate the state constitution “harm [him] because they force him to violate his oath” as an elections inspector.