Organizations Advocate for Voter Outreach Campaign

Common Cause Maryland and other groups are urging the Board of Public Works (BPW) to reconsider its denial of a contact to provide for a voter outreach campaign prior to the April 2016 primary election. The BPW rejected the $1.8 million contract in June, which would have educated voters on how to use the new paper ballot voting system in the upcoming election.

As reported by The Daily Record (subscription required),

“A lot of us will be watching what happens in Rockville on Nov. 3,” said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of Common Cause Maryland. “We feel bad for the voters there, but the municipal elections will be an opportunity to see where people are struggling and where we need to focus.”

“There are some tricks that you need to know in order for your vote to be properly counted,” Bevan-Dangel said. “Every time there is a change in technology it takes a while to adapt to the change. I have a smartphone and every time I get a new one it always takes some time to adapt to it. With voting, if that means my vote doesn’t count, that means we have a problem.”

The State Board of Elections is currently working on a scaled back version of a brochure to help educate voters and a Governor’s Office spokesman indicated that the Administration is willing to consider alternatives. The Administration did not agree with the initial approach and the expense of the campaign. Both Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, who was sitting in for Governor Hogan, and Comptroller Peter Franchot voted against the contract.

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