The Delaware Presidential Primary Election is a closed primary. Any person who wishes to vote in the Presidential Primary Election must be registered to vote with either the Democrat or Republican political parties. For example, if the more than one candidate is registered to vote with the same political party, meets the state's legal requirements for candidacy and submits a Filing Form to have his or her name placed on the Delaware Ballot for the Office of President of the United States, a Primary Election must be held to choose the candidate who will represent the political party for that office on the General Election Ballot.
PRIMARY ELECTION LAW
PRIMARY ELECTIONS AND NOMINATIONS OF CANDIDATES
CHAPTER 31. PRIMARY ELECTIONS
Subchapter V. Presidential Primary Election
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a presidential primary election for major political parties shall be conducted on the first Tuesday in February in the calendar year of a presidential election.
(b) The requirements of this subchapter shall not require a presidential primary election for a political party in any year in which such a primary election would otherwise be required under the provisions of this subchapter, if the chairperson of the political party notifies the State Election Commissioner in writing prior to the close of business on August 1 of the year preceding any year in which a President of the United States is to be elected that such political party elects not to be governed by the provisions of this subchapter. (68 Del. Laws, c. 365, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 245, §§ 1, 2; 74 Del. Laws, c. 74, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 37.)
Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, the presidential primary election shall be conducted in accordance with the laws governing statewide office primaries. (68 Del. Laws, c. 365, § 1.)
(a) Notification of candidacy shall be no later than December 10 in the year preceding the year in which the President of the United States is elected. If the filing deadline is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the last day to give notification shall be the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday.
(b) The chairperson of each political party participating in the presidential primary shall, 7 working days after the deadline set in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, provide the State Election Commissioner with a list of all persons affiliated with such party, not already on the ballot pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, who have become eligible by the close of business on the preceding day to receive payments from the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account of the Internal Revenue Code and who have not previously announced their withdrawal from the national presidential race and/or who have not announced the suspension of their presidential campaign. The State Election Commissioner shall place all such persons on the presidential primary ballot for their respective party. Prior to, or concurrently with, the filing of the above-mentioned list with the State Election Commissioner, each state chairperson shall notify the candidate or the candidate's campaign, that the candidate's name has been (or will be) provided to the State Election Commissioner pursuant to this subsection. A candidate placed on the ballot pursuant to this subsection, or a candidate already on the ballot pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, may have that candidate's own name removed from the ballot provided that no later than the close of the business day following the day on which the above-mentioned list was provided to the State Election Commissioner, the candidate files an affidavit with the State Election Commissioner stating that the candidate is not currently and does not intend to become a candidate in any other state's presidential primary and that the candidate is not currently (or is no longer), and does not intend to become, a candidate for the presidential nomination of the candidate's party.
(c) In the event that only one candidate files for a party's nomination by the filing deadline set forth in subsection (a) of this section and no additional candidates are added to the ballot pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, that candidate shall be considered as having received 100% of the vote for that party's presidential primary election automatically upon the expiration of the filing deadline and thus declared the winner of that election. In the event no candidate files for the party's nomination, no election shall be held for that party's nomination. (68 Del. Laws, c. 365, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 245, §§ 4-8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 294, §§ 1, 2; 74 Del. Laws, c. 74, § 2; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, §§ 35, 36.)
A candidate shall be eligible for the presidential primary election if:
(1) Such candidate is affiliated with a political party appearing on the ballot of the previous general election, and has become eligible to receive payments from the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account of the Internal Revenue Code; or
(2) Such candidate files a petition with the State Election Commissioner bearing at least 500 valid signatures of registered voters of this State of the same political party as the candidate at the time of the filing in accordance with § 3183(a) of this title. (68 Del. Laws, c. 365, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 245, §§ 9, 10.)
Delegates and alternate delegates to a national convention of a political party shall be apportioned, selected and/or elected in such manner as the rules of the party may provide. The chair of any political party shall certify and forward to the State Election Commissioner a copy of the party rules at least 30 days prior to the last day on which candidates for the President of the United States must provide notification of their candidacy pursuant to this subchapter. (68 Del. Laws, c. 365, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.)
Repealed by 70 Del. Laws, c. 245, § 11, effective July 18, 1995.
A candidate filing in accordance with § 3183(a) of this title for the presidential primary election shall on a form prescribed by the State Election Commissioner, certify 1 individual, who is registered to vote in the State and of the same political party affiliation as the candidate, who is authorized by the candidate to act on the candidate's behalf in all election-related matters. The candidate will be held jointly responsible with the candidate's authorized representative for compliance with all of the election laws for the State. (68 Del. Laws, c. 365, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 245, § 13; 70 Del. Laws, c. 294, § 3.)
Repealed by 70 Del. Laws, c. 245, § 12, effective July 18, 1995.
The name of each presidential candidate in the presidential primary shall appear on the primary election ballot in accordance with § 3124(b) of this title. In any presidential primary election, each voter shall be permitted to vote 1 vote for 1 presidential candidate of the party of the voter's registration as shown by the voter's original permanent registration record. A duly registered voter may not change that registered voter's political party affiliation during the period from November 1 immediately preceding the day of the presidential primary election through the day of the presidential primary election. (68 Del. Laws, c. 365, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 245, § 14; 75 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 38.)
The Department of Elections shall have at least 4 polling places open in each representative district for the presidential primary election. (68 Del. Laws, c. 365, § 1.)
INFORMATION & FORMS
Presidential Candidate Ballot Petition Form (Partial Petitions)
FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
Other States Primary Calendar:
2008 Presidential Primary Calendar
Candidate Fund Raising Totals:
2008 Presidential Election
Candidate Fund Raising in Delaware:
2008 Presidential Election Delaware Contributes!
Proposed alternative Presidential Primary Calendar:
The Delaware Plan: Presidential Primary-The Delaware Plan
1. Can the petitions for ballot status be filed at any time?
Petitions for appearing on Delaware's 2008 Presidential Primary Ballot must be filed by December 10,2007. If filed earlier we will review as they are received, we will notify the registered “Delaware Representative” of the status of the accepted signatures. If you desire partial petitions to be validated please complete a Presidential Candidate Ballot Petition form when submitting less than 500 signatures.
2. Who reviews them and what is the procedure? How are they verified?
The Voter Registration section of the Office of the Commissioner of Elections. State Voter Registration records are used for verification.
3. Are petitions made available to other entities, i.e., if I called in and wanted to view a presidential candidates petitions to verify actual signatures, can I?
You may view other candidate petitions after the social security numbers are redacted. Please note there will be a charge for this labor intensive function. If you would like to have a representative present while your candidate's petition is reviewed please arrange this with the Commissioner.
4. What is the procedure to challenge a petition?
A written set of facts must be specified and sent to the Commissioner of Elections, 111 S. West Street Suite 10, Dover, DE 19904 DEL Code Title 15, 8041 (b)
5. Can supplemental petitions be filed, i.e., after 1000 signatures are received and verified, can additional petitions with additional signatures be submitted?
Only 500 valid signatures are required. If signatures presented are found to be defective additional petition pages may be presented up to the filing deadline.
6. Who may request copies of a candidate's petitions; and does that person or entity have to be eligible to participate in the Republican Presidential Primary election to claim an interest?
Under Delaware's FOIA any person may obtain a copy. Estimated payment is required before the documents are processed for reviewing (redaction of SSN).
7. When will the petitions be made available for review (when a candidate files; when the COE has certified; or after the 12/10 deadline)?
May be requested after the petitions have been evaluated by our office for ballot determination.
8. Will a campaign be notified that a request has been made to review the submitted petitions?
No. All filings with the Commissioner of Elections are available to the public.
9. Is there a deadline to submit a written challenge to the COE?
No, but be aware that the Departments of Election may require 10 business days to modify the ballot on the voting machines.
10. Once a written challenge has been submitted to the COE, what is the process (investigation, hearing, appeal, etc)
The challenged ballot petition would be reviewed by Commissioner's staff, with possible assistance from the County Departments of Election, and recommendations made to the Commissioner of Elections for final decision.