In unanimous ruling, Court sides with Jennings on voting rights

by Submitted News

The Delaware Supreme Court has unanimously vacatedOpen this document with ReadSpeaker docReader a lower court ruling that jeopardized tens of thousands of Delawareans’ voting rights under the State’s permanent absentee and early voting statutes.


In February, a Superior Court judge issued a surprise ruling striking down early voting and the state’s 14-year-old permanent absentee law. The permanent absentee statute had passed the General Assembly unanimously, including with the support of then-Rep. Gerald Hocker, the plaintiff in the Superior Court case.AG Jennings immediately moved to appeal that ruling.

On Friday, she succeeded. In a 5-0 ruling, the Court found that Hocker and co-plaintiff Michael Mennella, represented by former Delaware GOP Chair Jane Brady, lacked standing to bring the case.

“Enough of these thinly-veiled partisan attempts to suppress votes — especially of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Attorney General Jennings. “Whether you voted for me or not, this is your most fundamental right, and I promised never to stop fighting for it. I’m grateful to the Court for its ruling and for agreeing to hear this case on an expedited basis so that Delawareans know their rights going into the September and November elections.”

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Delawareans will retain the right to early voting and permanent absentee voting in all primary, general, and special elections. In the last election, 56,000 Delawareans used early voting and roughly 21,000 — including veterans, the disabled, and caregivers — used permanent absentee ballots.

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