State GOP files lawsuit to stop mail-in voting

Delaware Republican Party Chair Jane Brady speaks during a press conference at the Kent County Republican Headquarters in Dover on Wednesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — Maintaining that mail-in voting is both unconstitutional and unnecessary in Delaware, the state’s Republican Party committee filed a lawsuit to halt it Wednesday.

Delaware Republican Party Chair Jane Brady announced the 13-page action during a news conference at the Kent County Republican headquarters, a suit that was also joined by plaintiffs John Foltz and Paula Manolakos.

According to a statement by Ms. Brady, “Vote-by-mail has a terrible history, replete with fraud, in states that have adopted that system. Delaware need not experience the corruption associated with that fraud. Everyone who is entitled to vote should have their vote count, equally, and no one’s vote should be diluted by fraud.”

While Ms. Brady encouraged absentee ballots, including when health concerns are involved, she maintained, “There are no other provisions in Delaware’s Constitution to allow for voting, except for in person, at a polling place, on the day of the election.”

The Delaware Department of Elections and Commissioner Anthony J. Albence were named as defendants in the suit. Attempts to reach Mr. Albence for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.

According to the lawsuit, House Bill 346, signed into law by Gov. John Carney, “upsets established constitutional means for voting absentee by flooding all registered voters with unsolicited applications to receive a voting-by-mail ballot, allowing any voter for any reason (or no reason at all) to vote by mail.”

Ms. Brady said she’s met with Mr. Albence, describing him as “a very nice man. We have good rapport.

“He has a statutory responsibility under the law that was passed by the General Assembly to follow the law, and the law says you shall implement vote-by-mail.”

The suit was filed in the Court of Chancery, and Ms. Brady said the plaintiffs requested expedited attention from an entity described as “pretty accommodating” and that “they understand the urgency of matters with regards to voting.”

No appearances were immediately scheduled after the lawsuit was filed.
Plaintiffs Mr. Foltz and Ms. Manolakos were described by Ms. Brady as “voters who were willing to put their name on the lawsuit. They feel concerned with the potential for fraud. … One of them was concerned that their vote might not be counted.”

There may be a large number of ballots to tally in the upcoming general election, according to Ms. Brady.

“We are planning and are expecting that voter turnout will be much like 2018, which was pretty significant. It was a very high turnout,” she said.

“We are hoping that we have (a huge number) of people come out in Delaware. We are hoping for a good report in terms of numbers.”