The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of elections policy in the 2019 General Assembly.
Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.
Counties administer and fund elections at the local level, overseeing polling places and coordinating poll workers every two years. MACo routinely advocates against state policies that result in costly or burdensome implementation for local election officials.
MACo opposed legislation that would require local boards of election to establish voting precincts in any continuing care retirement community that requests a separate polling location. Without state resources to offset the potentially substantial costs of new precincts, the bill represented an unfunded mandate onto local governments. This legislation received an unfavorable report by the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee and did not advance.
MACo supported with amendments legislation to would authorize an individual to register and vote at a polling place on Election Day, as the legislation placed a substantial administrative and cost burden onto local boards of elections. MACo suggested that legislation should be implemented to either direct state agencies to carry out these functions at the State’s expense, or provide resources to local election boards and staff to adopt the changes. This legislation passed without the addition of these amendments.
MACo opposed legislation that would have required a county or municipal employee serving as an election judge to receive one hour of administrative leave for each hour of service as an election judge. While well-intentioned, counties are concerned this legislation would infringe on local autonomy and
flexibility in local governance. Although this legislation passed through the House, it did not move out of committee following its hearing in the Senate.
MACo supported legislation that would have expanded public campaign financing systems to candidates for local boards of education. This legislation passed the Senate, but was defeated in the House Ways and Means Committee.