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Delaware's Congressional delegation says elections will be changed forever

Roman Battaglia / Delaware Public Media

No matter the ultimate outcome, the 2020 election changed the way future elections will be run.




In a year plagued by the Coronavirus pandemic, how people across the country cast ballots took a dramatic turn.  Many states, including Delaware, allowed everyone to Vote by Mail in the General election.


Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) is a long time supporter of the U.S. Postal Service and voting by mail. He says the decades old Postal Service will see a new life with mail-in-voting, but needs to continue adjusting to handle that role.


“And I think we’re going to find out that it’s not going to be business as usual. We’re not going to go back to the way we were. We’re going to find ways to tweak and make this better," said Carper.


Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) says a big reason the general election went fairly smoothly is because many states used their primaries to iron out their problems with voting by mail.


Delaware was one of those states.  Utilizing mail in voting during September’s primary helped it learn how best to process and count all the ballots in a timely fashion.


But while the options for how to vote expanded in many places, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester remains concerned about people being disenfranchised.


“With our elections, we have seen voter suppression, intimidation, voter depression," said Blunt Rochester. "And so it will require us as a nation to say, as we lost John Lewis this year, how important our vote is. And that we will protect it and that no-one, no-one, is above the law or will take our rights away from us.”


Carper adds that some additional adjustments to the process are needed,  such as allowing states like Pennsylvania to process ballots as they arrive, rather than waiting until after polls close.


The GOP controlled legislature in Pennsylvania refused to pass a measure earlier this year allowing elections officials to process ballots as they arrived - causing its count to take additional time.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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