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Early voting called a success, Department of Elections investigating ballot shortage

Election Day in Delaware saw many wins and losses, not just among candidates, but in its voting system too.

Despite the loss of mail-in voting, the Department of Elections is pleased with the roll-out of another new voting method in Delaware this year.

More than 56,000 Delawareans took advantage of early voting this year – just over 17% of all voters. New Castle County had around 19,000 early voters, while there were almost 9000 in Kent, and just over 28,000 in Sussex.

Community Relations Officer for the Department of Elections Cathleen Hartsky-Carter says voters described early voting as “in and out.”

“They just came right in, you signed the poll book, there weren't lines, they voted, everything was really smooth," she says. "So that was great, I think early voting was a gigantic success.”

There were failures too, Carter says. The Department is conducting an investigation into ten polling places in New Castle County that ran out of ballots late on Tuesday. It is not immediately clear why it happened.

“The sad news is that there was a time during which the ten polling places had no cards at all," Hartsky-Carter says. "So some voters had to wait a significant amount of time in order to vote. And the Department really appreciates voters’ persistence and their dedication. And we are committed to a smooth, safe, and efficient voting process for voters.”

Voter turnout for this midterm election landed at 42% - down from 52% in last midterm in 2018, but Carter notes there was a U.S. Senate seat on the ballot then, and races for federal offices generate more interest in elections. SOC

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.