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1974– CCDE helped pass the State’s first campaign finance law which limited campaign contributions and expenditures and required disclosure of sources of contributions (1974); helped strengthen the law in 1990, limiting the role of Political Action Committees.

1976 – CCDE wrote the Open Meetings Law (or Freedom of Information Act-FOIA) putting sunshine on state governmental meetings and records;   successfully worked to strengthen the law in 1985

1976 – CCDE helped write the first bill regulating lobbying which required lobbyists to register.

1980 -CCDE has been a watchdog of the Sunset Law; making sure agencies are appropriately evaluated on a regular basis.

1990 – CCDE wrote the State’s ethics law which defined conflicts of interest and created the bipartisan Delaware Public Integrity Commission to administer the law (1990)

1993 – Led passage of Delaware’s Motor Voter law in 1993 well before the national mandate


Monitoring and educating the public about the Voting Equipment Selection Task Force and Commissioner Manlove during the crucial period of purchasing a new voter system in 2018. Authored op-eds, provided written communication to the Election Commissioner, Joint Finance Committee, Bond Committee and Governor’s budget office supporting the investigation of a paper ballot voting systyem.

Successes & Highlights


CCDE has impacted influenced the reform of transparent and citizen-based government in Delaware:

  • Lobbyist Disclosure: CCDE helped write recent legislation enhancing disclosure requirements for Delaware lobbyists.
  • Financial Disclosure: CCDE helped shape the Delaware Elections Disclosure Act (HB300 in 2012), which represents the first major overhaul of Delaware’s campaign finance laws in more than 20 years.  Actions assured prompt disclosure of   campaign advertisements from third parties
  • Tracking Money in Politics: CCDE encouraged the Public Integrity Commission to modernize its website to include a searchable database to allow the public and the press to follow the influence of money in politics.
  • Citizens United: CCDE worked to mitigate the effects of and to reverse the Citizen’s United decision which opened the floodgates of secret and unlimited money in elections.  Rallied with voters, met with corporate leaders and sponsored   educational panels.
  • Delaware Lobbying Laws:  CCCE pushed  for a task force to recommend comprehensive reforms to Delaware’s lobbying laws in 2013.
  • Former Felon Voting: CCDE advocated for the enfranchisement of former felons by supporting legislation that removed barriers to registration in 2016.
  • Constitutional Convention: CCDE was also the primary organization responsible for stop-ping the dangerous legislation to call for a Constitutional Convention in 2016.
  • Independent Citizen led Redistricting in Delaware: CCDE is the primary lead on legislation defining the redistricting process for the Delaware General Assembly to eliminate gerrymandering and to increase transparency in the redistricting SB 27 has passed the Senate is currently in the House Administration Committee, waiting for 2018 consideration.
  • Candidate Scorekeeping: CCDE surveys legislative candidates and publicizes their positions on issues such as redistricting, transparency and the role of money in politics, with other groups and on our own.
  • Lobbying: CCDE monitors and testifies on legislation in Dover, keeping a close eye on campaign finance, voting and election legislation.
  • Public Opinion: CCDE regularly submits opinion pieces and letters to the editor supporting open government and the voice of the people in Delaware.

Recent Activities

May 2016

Vote on House Concurrent Resolution 60 – Rescinding the Article V Call for a Constitutional Convention. 

Delaware rescinded all calls for a Constitutional Convention. House and Senate leaders joined with Common Cause Delaware to pass HCR 60 and stopped Delaware from going down a dangerous path. Common Cause made a difference by educating and opposing the convening of a Constitutional Convention.

July 2016
Removing the Financial Bar to Voting

Governor Jack Markell signed HB 242, removing a financial bar to voting by by eliminating the requirement that people completing sentences for felony convictions pay all financial obligations before regaining their eligibility to vote. Common Cause Delaware, in Coalition with the ACLU and LWV,  worked to help educate legislators about the need to remove any financial requirements for voting.

May 2017

Senate passes SB 27 which establishes an independent redistricting commission with a bi-partisan vote. Bill is sent to House of Representatives waiting for the Speaker of the House to take action. Unfortunately, the bill was killed in the House.

March 2019

Gov. John Carney signs the National Popular Vote bill, making Delaware the 14th jurisdiction to enact the bill into law. CCDE, along with the League of Women Voters played a key role in the bill’s passage.   

June 2019 

Gov. Carney signs into law HB 38 that established 10 days of early voting in the First State, beginning in 2022. Again, CCDE played a key role in getting the bill through the General Assembly.

Jan. 2021 

September 2021 – Common Cause DE worked with the Delaware Fair Maps Coalition to produce the most fair and open redistricting process in the history of the state, which included public input on maps, public hearings, and a centralized website on the General Assembly website.

July 2021 

Jan. 2022 – Common Cause DE leads a statewide coalition to support the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and persuades Sen. Tom Carper to support filibuster reform. 

Spring 2022 

Working with the Delaware Voting Rights Coalition, CCDE helped persuade the General Assembly to pass automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, and vote-by-mail. Unfortunately, the latter two were subsequently ruled unconstitutional by the DE Supreme Court.

Fall 2022 

CCDE put on the ground the first-ever Election Protection field program. We recruited and trained volunteers to monitor the polls in all three counties on primary and midterm election day.


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