Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Outreach to begin ahead of first election with permanent vote-by-mail option

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Department of Elections is beginning efforts to highlight two major election changes this year -voting by mail and same-day voter registration.

Elections Commissioner Anthony Albence says his department is launching radio and television advertisements and partnering with Comcast to push out commercials on streaming platforms to inform voters of their options.

For Delawareans without consistent internet access, Albence says the state will count on outreach methods like billboards and standard mailers.

With the exception of the Department’s website, which offers translation options, all outreach will be conducted in English. To register to vote by mail, voters will need a state-issued ID or the last four digits of their social security number.

Albence adds because the new vote-by-mail system requires voters to opt in – unlike in 2020, when all voters were sent mail-in ballot applications to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission at polling sites – uptake may be relatively slow.

“This time there will not be applications sent - this will be an opt-in system," he said. "We’ll have to see. That increased the amount of mail-in votes that came in, but that was based on applications going out to all voters."

Voting by mail isn’t the only new addition this year. Voters will also be able to register as late as election day. Lawmakers passed both changes passed last month, though not without fierce opposition from some Republican lawmakers.

Delaware now joins the majority of states in allowing some form of no-excuse voting by mail.