Amendment to Change Voting Age Falls Short

Common Cause Delaware today urges the General Assembly to oppose SB 26, a controversial bill that, if passed, would amend the Delaware Constitution to change the minimum voting age from 21 to 18, but leave a number of Jim Crow era requirements intact. 

The bill, which will be heard yesterday by the House Administration Committee, retains several problematic barriers to voting including a literacy test, a residency requirement, and the permanent disenfranchisement of people with certain types of felony convictions. 

Statement from Claire Snyder-Hall, executive director of Common Cause Delaware:

“We cannot let those outdated, old-school barriers to voting stand. People should not be refused the freedom to vote if they have not lived in Delaware for a full year. People should not be required to pass an English literacy test in order to register – a tactic used during the Jim Crow era to systematically disenfranchise Black and brown voters. And no one should permanently lose the right to vote as a punishment for a crime. 

“All of these problematic barriers to voting would remain in the Delaware Constitution if SB 26 were to pass the House and ratifying such a bill implies agreement. We need a fresh bill.”

Common Cause Delaware encourages residents to contact their representatives and urge them to vote NO on SB 26.