Governor John Carney on Thursday signed the fifteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, rescheduling Delaware’s presidential primary for July 7. The Delaware Department of Elections will mail absentee ballot applications to all registered Democrats and Republicans in the State of Delaware, providing all eligible registered Delaware voters the opportunity to vote by absentee ballot in the presidential primary election.
Governor Carney’s updated order also formalizes interim steps announced on Tuesday, allowing certain small businesses to resume limited operations effective 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 8.
“Delawareans have a basic, fundamental right to vote, and these changes will allow all Delaware voters to safely exercise that right,” said Governor Carney. “We are making progress. Delawareans have helped flatten the curve by staying home, and by practicing social distancing when you’re out in public. But this fight isn’t over. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily, and wear a face covering when you do. Wash your hands often. Delawareans should stay vigilant, and stay informed at de.gov/coronavirus.”
Eligible Delaware voters will be permitted to select the “sick” or “temporarily or permanently physically disabled” options on their absentee ballot application to cast a vote in the presidential primary election, even if they are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Voters must return the application to the Delaware Department of Elections or complete the process online to receive an absentee ballot. The Delaware Department of Elections will operate at least six polling places in each county to allow voters to cast ballots in person should they choose not to vote by absentee ballot.
Governor Carney’s order on Thursday also reschedules school board elections for July 21, and places additional requirements on municipalities that are conducting elections. The order requires districts and municipalities to enforce social distancing during elections, require face coverings, and limit crowds to 10 or fewer people at polling places.
Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration – including the stay-at-home order and mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers – remains in place and carries the force and effect of law. Violations of the order, or any of its modifications, constitute a criminal offense.