With Delaware’s primary election just two weeks away, the Office of the State Election Commissioner is busy making final preparations before voters turn out on Sept. 9.
Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove said that preparations for this year’s primary are being delayed as her office waits for Treasurer Chip Flowers’ official withdrawal to take effect.
During a press conference earlier this month, Flowers announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy for re-election in response to controversy stemming from interactions with Erika Benner, his former deputy treasurer.
Manlove said Flowers submitted a withdrawal form to her office that was postdated for Aug. 28. As a result, the election office can’t legally strike his name from the ballot until that date.
“He’s filled out a withdraw form that’s effective Thursday at 4 o’clock,” Manlove explained. “Our plan is, Thursday at 4:01, to start removing his name from the ballots.”
Manlove said her office will have to change or alter ballots on more than 900 voting machines.
In Kent and Sussex Counties, her office should have enough time to revise the ballots in approximately 300 machines. In New Castle County, poll workers will affix stickers on the ballot over Flowers’ name.
For absentee ballots, Flowers will remain an active candidate, but Manlove said her office will not count the votes he receives following his formal withdrawal from the race.
Flowers has not disclosed why he postdated his withdrawal form. Manlove said she’s never experienced this type of situation.
“I’ve been in elections 15 years and I have never had a candidate postdate a withdraw or a filing form,” she said. “They’re either in or they’re out. I don’t know where he is.”
Flowers was poised to oppose challenger Sean Barney in the Democratic primaries.