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Early voting implementation going as planned in special election

Early voting is underway in a special election for a state House seat in Wilmington.

State lawmakers passed early voting legislation back in 2019, but the law didn’t take effect until this year.

State election officials were expecting to use early voting for the first time in the fall, with the primary and general elections — but this special election prompted earlier use of the new system.

Tracey Dixon is the country director for the Department of Elections in New Castle County.

“Well with this election it’s, as I mentioned, it’s a special election so it was not heavily advertised to put it mildly — because we had to get it done in 30 days, you know, per the code,” she said.

Dixon says turnout so far has been low, but they expected it to be low with such a small and unexpected election.

But this also has given the state an opportunity to conduct a trial run of their early voting system before larger elections coming in the fall.

Dixon says they’ve been working on implementing early voting for at least a year, and so far it’s been working out as expected.

“The processes that we had in place really fell in line with this election,” said Dixon. “So it was good to have this election as a practice run, or a pilot if you wanna call it that. But it did fall in line with what we had anticipated how it would go.”

Unlike election day, voters will be able to go to any early voting location they choose. Dixon says in larger elections there will be at least one location in each county — this time the Carvel State Office Building is the lone site for the special election.

Voters in the fourth district can cast an early ballot through Thursday, March 3rd from 7am to 7pm — before election day on Saturday.

Roman Battaglia is a corps member withReport for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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.