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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Death of former elections commissioner mourned

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Delaware Democratic Party Chair Erik Raser-Schramm posted this photo on Facebook.

Delaware’s political leaders were united Tuesday in expressing grief over the death of former Delaware elections commissioner Elaine Manlove.

Manlove, who retired last year after 12 years in the role, and her husband, Wayne, were killed in a car crash on Monday, WBOC reported. She was 72, and he was 75.

Here’s what has been said about her.

• “Tracey and I are devastated by the tragic news about Elaine Manlove and her husband, Wayne. I’ve known Elaine since our days working together for New Castle County Executive Dennis Greenhouse in the early 1990s. Elaine was one of the most positive people I’ve ever known—and could light up any room. We are praying hard for Elaine and Wayne’s children, their entire family and many friends. Elaine spent the last two decades protecting our fundamental right to vote—12 of those years as Delaware’s Elections Commissioner.

She delayed her retirement to help prepare for the unprecedented challenges of the 2020 election. Elaine and Election Day have been one and the same for years. She was a public servant and a good friend. We are also sending strength today to Elaine’s second family at the Department of Elections. This is not an easy day for them, but I know they will be working hard to protect our democracy and make Elaine proud.” – Gov. John Carney

• “In the midst of the most consequential election Delaware has ever seen, it feels beyond cruel to have one of its most committed architects taken from us so suddenly and tragically. Elaine Manlove dedicated her tenure as the Commissioner of Elections to preserving the sanctity of the vote here in the First State. Former Delaware Democratic Party Chairman John Daniello recommended her for that post because he knew her forward-thinking commitment for free and fair elections would serve Delawareans well. Because of her hard work, Delaware continues to be a model for the nation on how to run elections. 

But Elaine was much more to those of us who work in politics than a beloved and respected elections commissioner. She was a mentor and a friend, always offering a smile and a laugh that could cut through the tension of any situation. And though she was always fair and non-partisan, she had an abiding love for Joe Biden and after her retirement last year, made no secret about her support for his presidential campaign.

While we mourn the death of Elaine and her dear husband Wayne and pray for their family, we are heartened by the thought of them with the best seat in the house to watch Delaware make history. – Delaware Democratic Party Chair Erik Raser-Schramm

• “Martha and I are devastated to learn of the passing of Elaine and her husband, Wayne. Elaine was a consummate public servant, a visionary and incredibly committed to honest and secure elections. One of her greatest professional achievements over her 12 years as Elections Commissioner was modernizing Delaware’s voting machines, as well as working with the education community to bring elections and civics lessons into Delaware’s classrooms.

“It’s a cruel irony that her passing occurred on the eve of Election Day after she dedicated her life to protecting the integrity of the elections we hold so dear. Elaine and Wayne recently celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary, and my heart goes out to their children and grandchildren today. May we honor Elaine by ensuring that, this Election Day, every person who wants to vote can vote, and every ballot that is casted is counted. I know that so many across Delaware will be thinking of Elaine today.” – U.S. Rep. Tom Carper

“It is especially painful to learn of Elaine and Wayne’s passing on Election Day — a day that she dedicated so much of her career to administering and defending. Elaine was a delightful human being, and a friend to me and to so many others in the Department of Justice, and I share the heartbreak that so many are feeling across our state. We are holding the Manlove family and the entire Department of Elections team in our hearts today.” – Attorney General Kathy Jennings

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