On June 28, 2024, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the lower court opinion in Mennella v. Albence, thereby allowing the Department of Elections to include options for Early Voting and Permanent Absentee Status in all primary, general, and special elections in 2024.

Early Voting offers greater convenience and flexibility for all voters and is particularly beneficial to voters with disabilities. By having the possibility to choose from a variety of locations and dates, including at least one weekend, voters with disabilities have more flexibility to arrange transportation, to avoid long lines at busy polling places, and to have the option to reschedule if necessary. Early Voting has been shown to improve voter turnout across the board and was widely used after first being implemented in 2022. It reduces wait times at the polls, and easily accommodates more voters.

Having Permanent Status for Absentee Voting is essential for voters with permanent disabilities and their caregivers, as well as for voters who are living or working abroad, such as military personnel and their families. Voters who are least likely to have access to the internet are especially disadvantaged by having to repeatedly request a ballot for every election, despite having a permanent disability.

There is more work to be done to ensure these important options remain available to all Delaware voters, but this is a welcome decision in the lead-up to this fall’s presidential election.

The Delaware Supreme Court’s June 28, 2024 opinion may be accessed here.

Early Voting locations, dates, and times are available on the Department of Elections website here.

Absentee Ballot requests are available on the Department of Elections website here.

Read about the amicus brief that CLASI and the Arc of Delaware submitted to the Delaware Supreme Court in the Mennella v. Albence case here.