PILF Argues Before Delaware Supreme Court on Constitutionality of Early Voting and Permanent Absentee Voting Laws

he Superior Court sided with PILF that these laws conflicted with the state’s constitution.

(Dover, DE) – June 5, 2024:  The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) and former Delaware Attorney General, Jane Brady, are arguing before the Delaware Supreme Court on the constitutionality of early voting and permanent absentee voting. You can watch a full live stream of the arguments here.

The state’s lower court sided with PILF, holding that early voting and permanent absentee voting conflicted with the state constitution.

In 2019, the Delaware General Assembly passed a law that permitted early voting in person at least 10 days before the general election day. The Superior Court ruled early voting violates the state’s constitution, which requires the general election to be held on one specific day.

Additionally, a Delaware statute permitted registrants to apply to the Department of Elections for “permanent absentee status.” The law granted an individual eligibility to vote by absentee ballot in perpetuity, without consideration of the applicant’s eligibility in each subsequent election. The Superior Court ruled this statute violates the state constitution because the constitution only allows for absentee voting with strict restrictions on eligibility.

“Delaware’s Constitution designates one day as Election Day and lays out specific reasons when someone is eligible to vote absentee,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams. “States cannot pass election laws that conflict with their state constitutions. This lawsuit will restore the rule of law in Delaware’s elections.”

The Foundation’s client is Michael Mennella, an inspector of elections for the Delaware Department of Elections. Jane Brady of Brady Legal Group LLC is serving as local counsel. You can read court documents in Mennella v. Albence here. A factsheet on the lawsuit is available here.

This is Brady’s and the Foundation’s second election lawsuit before the Delaware Supreme Court. In 2022, they represented Michael Mennella in a successful lawsuit challenging the state’s law that allowed for universal vote by mail and same-day voter registration. The Delaware Supreme Court ruled that both election practices were prohibited under the Delaware Constitution.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. PILF has brought lawsuits and won victories in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and across the United States.


For media inquiries, reach out to lbowman@publicinterestlegal.org

Public Interest Legal Foundation