Panel Continues Review of Delaware Election Laws - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Panel Continues Review of Delaware Election Laws

Posted:

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Members of a task force charged with reviewing Delaware's election laws seemed to agree Wednesday that there's no need for a law requiring political candidates to undergo criminal background checks.
    
Background checks for candidates are among several issues that have been explored by the task force, formed by lawmakers earlier this year to conduct a comprehensive review of Delaware's elections and make recommendations on how to improve them. The panel is to submit its report in March.
    
The issue of background checks came up after New Castle County elections officials ruled last year that Derrick Johnson, pastor of Joshua Harvest Church in Wilmington, was ineligible to run for mayor of Wilmington because he had served prison time for manslaughter - an "infamous crime" that officials determined prevented him from holding office, despite a later pardon.
    
"The only reason we knew about it was because he was so open about it," said state elections commissioner, the chair of the task force.
    
But Andrew Lippstone, chief counsel to Democratic Gov. Jack Markell and a member of the task force, suggested Wednesday that Delaware's political system is good at ferreting out problems in candidates' backgrounds without requiring them to submit background checks as a criteria for running for office.
    
Republican state Sen. Colin Bonini of Dover agreed.
    
"I think the rough-and-tumble business we're in is really going to self-police this," he said.
    
Task force members also discussed how to ensure that convicted felons have met the criteria for restoration of their voting rights before being allowed to vote.
    
Lawmakers earlier this year gave final approval to a constitutional amendment eliminating the five-year waiting period before eligible felons who have completed their sentences and paid all fines, fees and restitution can vote again.
    
Elections officials check the state criminal justice database to determine whether a convicted felon is eligible to vote, but Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove expressed concern that a felon who owes fines or restitution related to a separate misdemeanor conviction may be found ineligible, even though he has satisfied the sentencing requirements for the felony conviction.
    
"I'm suggesting we take the fines out of the process," Manlove said, adding that she would check with court officials to see if financial accounting for felonies and misdemeanors can be differentiated.
    
Task force members also discussed whether to do away with a requirement that people seeking absentee ballots for certain reasons submit notarized affidavits. The current law requires notarization of affidavits in some cases, but not in others. Verification by a notary is required for people seeking absentee ballots for religious reasons, because they are incarcerated, or because they will be on vacation or business on election day. But notarization is not required for those requesting absentee ballots because they are sick, disabled, in the military or serving the state.
    
Panel members also discussed the idea of allowing early voting in Delaware.
    
Manlove said early voting would amount to "no-excuse" absentee voting and could require amending the state constitution, which sets out the reasons for absentee voting.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Salisbury Police Investigating Apparent Train, Pedestrian Incident

    Salisbury Police Investigating Apparent Train, Pedestrian Incident

    11/20/2017 23:55:00 -05:002017-11-21 04:55:00 GMT
    Monday, November 20 2017 11:55 PM EST2017-11-21 04:55:35 GMT
    Salisbury Police are investigating an apparent incident where a train hit a pedestrian earlier tonight.More
    Salisbury Police are investigating an apparent incident where a train hit a pedestrian earlier tonight.More
  • Early Black Friday Deals Change Trends

    Early Black Friday Deals Change Trends

    11/20/2017 22:38:00 -05:002017-11-21 03:38:00 GMT
    Monday, November 20 2017 10:44 PM EST2017-11-21 03:44:59 GMT
    Shoppers head into Target just after thei doors opened at midnight on Black Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in South Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)Shoppers head into Target just after thei doors opened at midnight on Black Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in South Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
    SALISBURY, Md.- Stores are offering Black Friday deals earlier than ever before and with sales extending online people say they won't leave their home to shop for the holidays this year. "There's not a mad rush as years ago," Joyce Solomon said. "BeMore
    Stores are offering Black Friday deals earlier than ever before and with sales extending online people say they won't leave their home to shop for the holidays this year.More
  • Sussex County Veteran Honored for Service in WWII

    Sussex County Veteran Honored for Service in WWII

    11/15/2017 22:42:00 -05:002017-11-16 03:42:00 GMT
    Monday, November 20 2017 9:39 PM EST2017-11-21 02:39:53 GMT
    Courtesy of Rosely RobinsonCourtesy of Rosely Robinson
    A Sussex County veteran was honored Wednesday for his service and sacrifice during WWII in a surprise visit by a Hero's Welcome Delaware.More
    A Sussex County veteran was honored Wednesday for his service and sacrifice during WWII in a surprise visit by a Hero's Welcome Delaware.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Former Smyrna Middle Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sex With Students

    Former Smyrna Middle Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sex With Students

    11/20/2017 07:40:00 -05:002017-11-20 12:40:00 GMT
    Monday, November 20 2017 7:43 AM EST2017-11-20 12:43:02 GMT
    Karen BrooksKaren Brooks
    A former teacher at Smyrna Middle School in Delaware has pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape after she admitted to a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy.More
    A former teacher at Smyrna Middle School in Delaware has pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape after she admitted to a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy.More
  • Bridgeville Meth Bust Made In Transit

    Bridgeville Meth Bust Made In Transit

    11/19/2017 18:12:00 -05:002017-11-19 23:12:00 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 6:12 PM EST2017-11-19 23:12:22 GMT
    Delaware State Police arrested a Greenwood man after a traffic stop revealed methamphetamine in the car.More
    Delaware State Police arrested a Greenwood man after a traffic stop revealed methamphetamine in the car.More
  • Shots Fired at Slaughter Beach Home

    Shots Fired at Slaughter Beach Home

    11/19/2017 20:14:00 -05:002017-11-20 01:14:00 GMT
    Sunday, November 19 2017 8:22 PM EST2017-11-20 01:22:52 GMT
    The Delaware State Police are currently investigating an incident in which shots were fired at a home on Bay Avenue.More
    The Delaware State Police are currently investigating an incident in which shots were fired at a home on Bay Avenue.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • "Hood Fight Salisbury" Cell Phone Videos

    "Hood Fight Salisbury" Cell Phone Videos

    27 cell phone videos depicting brutal streets fights among teenagers in Salisbury were posted online. Local leaders including the Mayor, State's Attorney and a Reverend react to the media.More
    27 cell phone videos depicting brutal streets fights among teenagers in Salisbury were posted online. Local leaders including the Mayor, State's Attorney and a Reverend react to the media.More
  • Two Milford Shootings Prompt Investigations

    Two Milford Shootings Prompt Investigations

    Milford Police are investigating a pair of overnight shootings. The first took place in the 200 block of Northwest 3rd Street around 2:18 am. It’s been reported an unknown male suspect shot a male victim twice and at an occupied home striking it multiple times. The second shooting took place in the 300 block of Northwest 4th Street at approximately 5:09 am, where a suspect or multiple suspects shot and struck an unoccupied parked vehicle.

    More

    Milford Police are investigating a pair of overnight shootings. The first took place in the 200 block of Northwest 3rd Street around 2:18 am. It’s been reported an unknown male suspect shot a male victim twice and at an occupied home striking it multiple times. The second shooting took place in the 300 block of Northwest 4th Street at approximately 5:09 am, where a suspect or multiple suspects shot and struck an unoccupied parked vehicle.

    More
  • Chincoteague's Oldest Saltwater Cowboy Dies at 78

    Chincoteague's Oldest Saltwater Cowboy Dies at 78

    Many today mourned the loss of the oldest Chincoteague Saltwater Cowboy. Wesley Bloxom was best known for his passion and involvement in the Chincoteague Pony Swim, one of Delmarva's biggest events. Today, his life was celebrated. Caroline Coles reports.

    More

    Many today mourned the loss of the oldest Chincoteague Saltwater Cowboy. Wesley Bloxom was best known for his passion and involvement in the Chincoteague Pony Swim, one of Delmarva's biggest events. Today, his life was celebrated. Caroline Coles reports.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices