Judge says Delaware vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional

A mail ballot is positioned in a mailbox

A mail ballot is positioned in a mailbox on Friday, October 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

A Delaware judge has declared that a new vote-by-mail law enacted earlier this year is unconstitutional and cannot be used in the upcoming November election.

Vice Chancellor Nathan Cook ruled Wednesday that the law violates a provision in Delaware’s constitution that spells out the circumstances under which a person is allowed to cast an absentee ballot.

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Cook noted that Delaware courts have consistently stated that those circumstances are exhaustive. He said the new law’s attempt to expand absentee voting must therefore be rejected.

The law is the result of legislation that Democrats rammed through the General Assembly in less than three weeks this past June, after failing to win Republican support to amend the constitution.

Cook upheld the state’s new same-day voter registration law.

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