Delaware Public Media

Delaware officials to restrict access to voter records

Jul 10, 2017

By the end of the week, most Delawareans will no longer be able to ask for a copy of the state’s voter registration database.


That news comes in the wake of an effort by the Trump Administration to root out what they view as widespread voter fraud across the country.

“I don’t feel like we should give that information,” said state Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove, referring to a panel led by Vice President Mike Pence (R).

Last week, her office said it wouldn’t comply with a request from the group, which would’ve involved handing over voters’ dates of birth, the last four digits of their social security numbers and more.

Some of that information is currently available under public law.

Delawareans can pay $10 for a copy of the voter registration database, which includes someone’s age, address, party affiliation and voting history.

But that will soon change.

“It’s going to go to candidates and campaigns to be used for campaign purposes – not for commercial purposes,” Manlove said.

After media coverage of the panel’s request spread, state residents overwhelmed the state Department of Elections office, according to Manlove.

She says her office’s phones were so jammed that at one point she couldn’t reach her staff.

“When I couldn’t get through to my own office I knew people were unhappy and I felt like I was betraying those voters if I were to give out their information.”

She even received a fax thanking her for not complying with the White House’s request.

Manlove expects the new policy and her formal response to the panel to be finished by the end of the week.

She says she wants to turn the policy into law when the legislature reconvenes in January.