Letter to the Editor: Expand voter provisions for safer November presidential election

We are currently living in a time of great uncertainty and stress due to the novel coronavirus in the midst of a significant election year.

Given the restrictions that we now live under, people should be able to use their right to vote safely, and those who work the polls should not be unnecessarily exposed to possible illness.

Delaware does not currently allow no-excuse absentee voting nor is there vote-by-mail. Gov. Carney has made a provision to include social distancing to be allowed under “sick or temporarily disabled” checkbox for absentee ballots for the two primaries in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, but did not make this available for the November election. A vote-by-mail bill, HB 175, is currently on the ready list in the legislature, but given the shortened session, may not be considered.

I am asking Gov. Carney and the legislature to either extend the social distancing provision as “sick or temporarily disabled” to the presidential election or to address HB 175 in the current session.

People cannot be asked to choose between the ability to cast a vote safely and their health, as was done in Wisconsin. New Hampshire just allowed absentee voting for November in order to protect its citizens. Surely Delaware can do the same.

Alan Evantash
League of Women Voters Elections Committee