Lawsuit Challenging Mailed Ballot Deadline Fails

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A Vice Chancellor with Delaware’s Court of Chancery issued an opinion Friday that rejected a lawsuit which sought to extend the deadline for mailed and absentee ballots to be counted.

The League of Women Voters and the ACLU of Delaware went to court, contending that the vote-by-mail option approved by the General Assembly as a way for voters to avoid crowded polling places during the pandemic would create heavy volume of mailed ballots. Questions about the USPS’s ability to keep up surfaced.

The plaintiffs sought to allow ballots that arrive within ten days of the election to be counted, as long as they were in the mail before the close of polls on Election Day, 8:00 p.m. November 3rd.

“The Plaintiffs’ concerns are not frivolous. Principles of judicial modesty, however, require I not interfere with a statute on speculative grounds—particularly so when to do so would change settled law within weeks of the election,” Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III wrote in his opinion.

“Voting is our most fundamental right and the ACLU of Delaware will always fight to protect and expand that right,” ACLU of Delaware Legal and Policy Director Karen Lantz said. “We are disappointed in the Court’s ruling and will be discussing next steps with our clients, but no matter what happens next, we won’t stop fighting to protect the vote in Delaware.”

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