Statement on Early Voting, Permanent Absentee Ruling

Common Cause Delaware stands behind the Delaware Department of Justice (DOJ)’s appeal of the recent Superior Court decision that struck down early voting and permanent absentee voting.

Jeff Raffel, chair of the state advisory board for Common Cause Delaware, issued the following statement: 

“The Superior Court’s ruling is undoubtedly discouraging to voters. This ruling will cause confusion in the lead up to our April 2 presidential primary, and it is impossible to measure how many voters will choose to abstain rather than figure out how they can vote. As a result of this ruling, Delaware will join Alabama, Mississippi, and New Hampshire as one of the only 4 states without early voting options available to voters.

“Since the beginning of 2022, 56,000 Delawareans have used our early voting period to participate in elections. An additional 21,000 people are on our permanent absentee voter list. We should be supporting these folks and making it as simple as possible to complete their civic duties — not robbing them of the systems that work best for them. 

“Make no mistake: this ruling is the result of a lawsuit filed by people who do not want Delawareans to show up and cast their votes. The great majority of voters believe in expanding access to the ballot box, not restricting it, and we’re hopeful that the Delaware DOJ’s appeal will restore that access.” 

Common Cause Delaware will work with the Delaware Voting Rights Coalition to defend access to the ballot box in the wake of this ruling. Following this decision, the ACLU of Delaware launched a long-term campaign focused on updating the First State’s constitution and delivering key democracy reforms for Delaware voters. More information on that campaign is available here.