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Recent rulings that Texas' voting laws discriminate put pressure on the state, but the road ahead is long
04/24/17 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017 - 01:00

Lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to address the discriminatory issues found with the voter ID law. But Democrats say it falls short of meeting the standards that a district court set last year.

Plaintiffs want District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi to consider throwing out the law after the legislative session and returning the state to the federal government's "pre-clearance" list.

But even if that happened, the Texas attorney general's office would almost certainly challenge the decision in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. ...

The parties in the [redistricting] case are set to meet in San Antonio on Thursday. The three-judge panel will hear updates on whether a trial is needed and what a timeline for the rest of the case might look like.

But the panel has moved slowly and methodically throughout the case for over six years. It is unlikely to grant the plaintiffs' requests — for new congressional maps for the 2018 elections and federal oversight — before tackling other remaining issues, such as whether the 2013 interim maps were also discriminatory.

And even if the court sided with the plaintiffs in a trial and struck down the maps, Texas could appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court — dragging out the case even longer.

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Delaware Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: October 15, 2016

Election Day:

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. eastern time on Election Day.

Delaware does not have early voting.

How to Find Your Polling Place:  Visit the State of Delaware’s polling place locator web page.


Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.

Registration Deadlines:

You must register on or before the fourth Saturday before the General Election. The deadline for this year’s General Election is October 15.  Mail-in applications postmarked by October 15 will be considered on time.

How to Check Your Registration: Use or call 866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in Delaware, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Reside in Delaware, which means that Delaware is your home;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day;
  • Not be a convicted felon, unless your sentence has been fully completed (including probation and parole);
  • Not be barred from voting due to a disqualifying felony conviction; and
  • Not declared mentally incompetent through a judicial proceeding.

There is no duration of residence requirement in Delaware; you may register the first day that you move to the state.

How to Register: Delaware residents may register in person, by mail, or online.

To register online, visit Delaware’s Register to Vote website at

You may also register to vote in person at several state agencies, including DMV offices offering driver license and state ID services, the Department of Health & Social Services, and the Department of Labor. 

Identification Required for Registration: In order to register, you must provide either a valid Delaware driver’s license or Delaware identification number.  If you do not have a Delaware driver’s license or a Delaware identification number, you should provide a social security number. 

If you are registering to vote by mail, and it is the first time that you have registered to vote in Delaware, you must submit a copy of one of the following with your application:

  • A current and valid photo identification;
  • A current utility bill;
  • A current bank statement;
  • A current government check;
  • A current paycheck; or
  • Any other current government issued document that shows your name and address.

If you do not provide one of the above forms of identification when you register, you must provide such identification the first time you vote in a federal election.

If You Want to Vote Early

Delaware does not have early voting, however, you may vote by absentee ballot prior to the election, if you qualify for an absentee ballot. 

If You Want to Vote Absentee

In Person:  If you qualify for an absentee ballot, you may vote absentee in person at the Department of Elections for your County.  Contact the Department of Elections for your County to determine the hours for voting and availability of absentee ballots.  The last day to vote absentee in person is 12 noon, the day prior to the election.

By Mail:  You may also request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you.  In order to have the Department of Elections mail an absentee ballot to you, the Department of Elections for your County must receive your absentee ballot affidavit and request for an absentee ballot at least four days prior to the election.  The Department of Elections’ office for your County must receive the voter’s absentee ballot by 8:00 p.m. on November 8, 2016, in order for the ballot to be counted.

You can qualify to vote by absentee ballot if any of the following applies to you:

  • You are in public service, a United States citizen residing out of the United States, or absent from Delaware because of injury sustained while serving in the U.S. armed forces;
  • You are in the U.S. armed forces, or attached to and servicing with the U.S. armed forces in the American Red Cross or United Service Organizations;
  • The nature of your business or occupation (including providing care to your parent, spouse, or child who is living at home and requires constant care due to illness, disability or injury);
  • You are sick or physically disabled;
  • You are absent from the district while on vacation;
  • You are unable to vote at a certain time or on a certain day due to the tenets or teachings of your religion;
  • You are otherwise authorized pursuant to the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to vote by absentee ballot; or
  • You are otherwise authorized by federal law to vote by absentee ballot.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Photo identification is not required to vote in Delaware.  Upon entering the voting room, you will be asked to present identification, but if you do not have identification, you may sign an affidavit that you are the person listed on the voting rolls, and you will then be permitted to vote by regular ballot.  If your eligibility to vote at the applicable election district cannot be determined, you will be permitted to vote by provisional ballot.  In order for your provisional ballot to count, you must provide identification.

VoteRiders has created Delaware voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Moving within the Same County

If you have moved within the same county, you may vote either at the polling place where you are registered or at the polling place for your new residence or address.

Moving Between Counties

If you have moved between counties, you may vote either at the polling place where you are registered or at the polling place for your new residence or address.

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for absentee voting, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together these groups are called UOCAVA voters).

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Delaware page at

UOCAVA voters may also register to vote and request an absentee ballot through Delaware’s uniformed service and overseas citizen voter website at

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may receive their blank absentee ballots by U.S. Mail or electronic transmission.  To request electronic transmission of the blank ballot, UOCAVA voters must mark the appropriate box and provide an email address on the State of Delaware “UOCAVA Application for Absentee Ballot” (available at or on the FPCA (see Delaware-specific FPCA page at Ballots must be returned via U.S. Mail, commercial carrier, or by hand delivery.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters.  You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities.  You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least 5 days before the election.  If you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB.  Your FWAB must be received by your local voting officials in Alabama no later than noon on Election Day.  For specific instructions, visit

Unless you have been convicted of a disqualifying felony, in which case you will not be able to register to vote, if you have been convicted of a felony, you will be eligible to register to vote once you have completed your prison sentence (including probation and parole).  Disqualifying felonies include murder, manslaughter, sexual offenses, crimes against public administration involving bribery and public corruption. 

To determine whether you are eligible to register to vote, contact the Department of Elections at (302) 739-4277.


Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

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Election Information for your state