The Senate passed House Bill 202 by a vote of 36-4. The bill, sponsorsed by Rep. Cyndie Romer, would limit those who can legally possess a firearm at an active polling place to only law enforcement officers, or commissioned security guards, constables and active-duty members of the military and Delaware National Guard acting in their official capacity.
The four no votes were of course from Republicans.
HB 202 would apply to any in-person election, including general, primary and special elections, local school elections, municipal elections, and locations designated for early voting.
According to firearm safety advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, only six states have laws forbidding people to carry guns in polling places specifically, including Texas, Georgia, Louisiana and Florida.
|HOUSE BILL 202 – LIMITING THOSE WHO CAN LEGALLY POSSESS A FIREARM AT A POLLING PLACE||Currrent Status – House Passed 36-4-1. Sent to the Senate.|
|House Sponsors – Romer, Heffernan, Longhurst, Minor-Brown, Schwartzkopf, Baumbach, Bolden, Johnson, Morrison, Osienski||Senate Sponsors – Sokola, Hoffner, Huxtable, Townsend|
|House Yes Votes – Baumbach Bolden Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Harris Heffernan Johnson Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Morrison Neal Osienski Parker-Selby Phillips Romer Schwartzkopf Williams Wilson-Anton // Briggs King Dukes Gray Hensley Hilovsky Ramone Short Shupe Smith Spiegelman Yearick||Senate Yes Votes –|
|House No Votes – Collins, Morris, Postles, Vanderwende||Senate No Votes –|
|House Absents or Not Voting – Moore||Senate Absent or Not Voting –|
“Ensuring the safety and well-being of poll workers, election officials, and voters is of paramount importance,” said Rep. Romer. “These individuals play a vital role in maintaining the integrity of the electoral process, and their protection is crucial for upholding democratic values. Poll workers and election officials work tirelessly to facilitate smooth elections, and they should feel secure while carrying out their responsibilities. HB 202 will protect our poll workers, voters and the sanctity of our elections.”
“Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in voter intimidation tactics across the country in recent election cycles with armed ‘election integrity’ vigilantes camped outside of polling sites,” said President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola, the prime Senate sponsor of House Bill 202. “Bringing a gun to a polling place doesn’t increase election security. It threatens voters and significantly increases the chance of a deadly confrontation. I want to thank Rep. Romer for sponsoring this election safety bill and I look forward to passing this measure in the Senate.”