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Prisoners And the Vote in Delaware

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Former convicts in Delaware could soon get the chance to vote in an election as soon as they complete their sentences.

There is an effort underway in the General Assembly to eliminate the five-year waiting period for eligible felons with the exception of those convicted of the most serious crimes such as murder.

The constitutional amendment was approved in last year’s session.

But Delaware requires an amendment to be approved in two consecutive sessions by the General Assembly before it can become part of the state constitution.

State Representative Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington) said just because someone made a mistake at 18 and served their time should not mean that they should be kept from voting when they get out.

The amendment is opposed by State Representative Danny Short (R-Seaford) who called the denial of the right to vote…a deterrent.


Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.