Albence v. Higgin, et al.

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE THE HONORABLE ANTHONY J. ALBENCE, in his official capacity as State Election Commissioner, and STATE OF DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS, Defendants Below, Appellant/Cross-Appellees, v. MICHAEL HIGGIN and MICHAEL MENNELLA, Plaintiffs Below, Appellee/Cross/Appellants. ____________________________ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § No. 342, 2022 Court Below: Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware C.A. Nos. DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS and ANTHONY J. ALBENCE, State Election Commissioner, § § § § § Defendants Below, § Appellant/Cross-Appellee, § § v. § § AYONNE “NICK” MILES, PAUL J. § FALKOWSKI, and NANCY M SMITH, § § Plaintiffs Below, § Appellee, Cross-Appellants. § Submitted: October 6, 2022 Decided: October 7, 2022 2022-0641 2022-0644 Before SEITZ, Chief Justice; VALIHURA, VAUGHN, TRAYNOR, Justices, and JURDEN, President Judge,1 constituting the Court en banc. Upon appeal from the Court of Chancery. AFFIRMED in part, REVERSED in part. PER CURIAM: ORDER This 7th day of October, 2022, the Court has considered on an expedited basis the parties’ briefs, the record on appeal, and the argument of counsel, and it appears that: 1. The Vote-by-Mail Statute2 impermissibly expands the categories of absentee voters identified in Article V, Section 4A of the Delaware Constitution. Therefore, the judgment of the Court of Chancery that the Vote-by-Mail Statute violates the Delaware Constitution should be affirmed. 2. The Same-Day Registration Statute3 conflicts with the provisions of Article V, Section 4 of the Delaware Constitution. Consequently, the judgment of the Court of Chancery that the Same-Day Registration Statute does not violate the Delaware Constitution should be reversed. 1 Sitting by designation under Del. Const. art. IV, § 12 and Supreme Court Rules 2(a) and 4(a) to complete the quorum. 2 15 Del. C., ch. 56A. 3 15 Del. C. § 2036. 2 3. The Court enters this abbreviated order in recognition of the impending election scheduled for November 8, 2022, and the Department of Election’s desire to mail ballots to voters by or around October 10, 2022. A more formal opinion, fully explaining the Court’s views and the reasons supporting our unanimous decision, will issue in due course. The mandate shall issue immediately. NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the judgment of the Court of Chancery as reflected in its September 14, 2022 Memorandum Opinion and September 15, 2022 Implementing Order be AFFIRMED in part and REVERSED in part. 3
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