County Ballot Questions: Here’s What We Know

Across Maryland, voters considered a number of ballot questions concerning county governance and structure. Here, Conduit Street provides the latest results for each county-specific ballot question.

Allegany, CalvertCaroline, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties did not present voters with any county-specific ballot questions.

Vote totals and percentages in this article are based on unofficial results of the Maryland State Board of Elections as of Thursday, November 5, at 9:45 am. Official results will follow. Readers are advised that unofficial results are subject to realignment in the days ahead and official results will follow after a full accounting of pending ballots. To view the most up-to-date unofficial results, visit the State Board of Elections website.

Stay tuned to MACo’s blog and our Conduit Street podcast for unbiased, non-partisan election news, details, and insider tips on what it all means for county government.

Anne Arundel County had seven ballot questions, including whether to:

  • Strengthen the County Auditor’s authority to inspect and investigate records concerning county funds.
    • For the Charter Amendment (180,212 votes, 84.7%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (32,575 votes,15.3%)
  • Require the County Council to confirm the County Executives appointments of County Attorney, Chief of Police, and Fire Chief as well as allow the County Council, on the affirmative vote of not less than five members, to preclude the removal of a County Attorney appointed by the County Executive.
    • For the Charter Amendment (151,478 votes, 73.1%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (55,705 votes, 26.9%)
  • Remove the limit of 1,500 hours per calendar year for hourly rate contractual employees.
    • For the Charter Amendment (127,245 votes, 63.1%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (74,544 votes, 36.9%)
  • Permit the County Council to increase the minimum value of purchases and contracts requiring full competitive bidding to an amount between $25,000 and $100,000.
    • For the Charter Amendment (134,394 votes, 65.8%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (69,803 votes, 34.2%)
  • Lengthen the probationary period from six months to the time required to complete the departments entry-level training program plus twelve months for entry-level full-time classified sworn employees of the Police Department, Fire Department, Sheriffs Office, and the Department of Detention Facilities and to provide that a probationary period does not run while an employee is on paid or unpaid leave that exceeds 80 consecutive hours.
    • For the Charter Amendment (165,845 votes, 79.6%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (42,584 votes, 20.4%)
  • Expand the initial term for acting Chief Administrative Officer or acting head of any office or department from 60 days to 120 days as well as allow the County Council to extend that term by up to two additional sex month periods instead of the current four months.
    • For the Charter Amendment (120,701 votes, 59.1%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (83,619 votes, 40.9%)
  • Add the Anne Arundel County Human Relations Commission to the Anne Arundel County Charter.
    • For the Charter Amendment (138,826 votes, 69.1%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (62,024 votes, 30.9%)

See the full Anne Arundel County ballot for more information.

Baltimore City had eleven ballot questions, including whether to:

  • Authorize Baltimore City to borrow up to $12 million to be used for the City’s affordable housing program.
    • For (137,798 votes, 86.3%)
    • Against (21,872 votes, 13.7%)
  • Authorize Baltimore City to borrow up to $38 million to be used for school construction and modernization.
    • For (144,678 votes, 89.4%)
    • Against (17,143 votes, 10.6%)
  • Authorize Baltimore officials to borrow up to $38 million to be used for, or in connection with, planning, developing, executing, and making operative the community, commercial, and industrial economic development programs.
    • For (135,637 votes, 86.1%)
    • Against (21,892 votes, 13.9%)
  • Authorize Baltimore City to borrow up to $72 million to be used for the development of public infrastructure.
    • For (138,458 votes, 87.8%)
    • Against (19,187 votes, 12.2%)
  • Require the City’s Charter to include a Charter Revision Commission, appointed at least once every 10 years, to review and make recommendations for necessary deletions, additions, or revisions to the City Charter.
    • For the Charter Amendment (133,226 votes, 87.2%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (19,545 votes, 12.8%)
  • Amend the City Charter in order to authorize the City Council, by majority vote, to increase amounts of spending within the general fund or add new amounts for new purposes. New spending items added by City Council must be authorized by separate legislation. After the City Council’s reductions and additions are made, the amount of the operating budget and the capital budget cannot exceed the amounts proposed in the proposed Ordinance of Estimates.
    • For the Charter Amendment (112,016 votes, 75.4%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (36,473 votes, 24.6%)
  • Reduce the number of votes by City Council members that are needed to override a mayoral veto from three-fourths of the members of the City Council to two-thirds of those members.
    • For the Charter Amendment (100,895 votes, 68.4%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (46,719 votes, 31.6%)
  • Amend the City Charter in order to increase the amount of time in which the City Council can consider overriding a mayoral veto of legislation adopted by the City Council. The amendment would add that if no meeting of the City Council is scheduled during that period, the City Council may override a veto at the next regular meeting of the City Council following the 20-day period. The amendment also provides that a veto cannot be overridden by a City Council that has been newly elected and sworn into office since the passage of the vetoed legislation.
    • For the Charter Amendment (112,759 votes, 76%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (35,691 votes, 24%)
  • Amend the City Charter in order to provide for the removal from office of certain City elected officials. The amendment would provide that — by a three-fourths vote — the City Council may remove a council member, the Council President, the Mayor or the Comptroller for incompetency, misconduct in office, willful neglect of duty, felony, or misdemeanor in office, subject to charges levied by the Mayor, the City Council Committee on Legislative Investigations, or the Inspector General.
    • For the Charter Amendment (141,632 votes, 92%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (12,397 votes, 8%)
  • Require the City Auditor to give copies of agency audits to the agencies that were audited. It would also allow the City Auditor, in the furtherance of his or her duties, to issue subpoenas “to any municipal officer, municipal employee, or any other person receiving City funds” to produce documents.
    • For the Charter Amendment (142,080 votes, 93.5%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (9,822 votes, 6.5%)
  • Establish the position of City Administrator as the Chief Administrative Officer of Baltimore City. The law would provide for how the City Administrator is appointed and removed and would establish the powers and duties of the City Administrator. The City Administrator would be required to appoint a Deputy City Administrator and certain other staff.
    • For the Charter Amendment (115,334 votes, 77.2%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (34,084 votes, 22.8%)

See the full Baltimore City ballot for more information.

Baltimore County had ten ballot questions for voters, including whether to:

  • To establish a Citizens’ Election Fund System for candidates for County Council and County Executive beginning with the General Election to be held in 2026.
    • For the Charter Amendment (133,889 votes, 55.5%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (107,408 votes, 44.5%)
  • Authorize Baltimore County to borrow $54,990,000 for public works purposes, for the class of projects which includes, among other things, streets and highways, bridges, and storm drainage systems.
    • For the Bond Issue (207,161 votes, 80.5%)
    • Against the Bond Issue (50,133 votes, 19.5%)
  • Authorize Baltimore County to borrow $15,000,000 for refuse disposal projects, including but not limited to the construction, reconstruction, improvement, acquisition, repair, and modernization of county refuse disposal facilities.
    • For the Bond Issue (195,154 votes, 76.9%)
    • Against the Bond Issue (58,683 votes, 23.1%)
  • Authorize Baltimore County to borrow $46,000,000 for public operational buildings including, but not limited to, general, health, police, fire, recreation, libraries, senior center, and detention buildings or facilities and necessary or desirable equipment.
    • For the Bond Issue (196,163 votes, 77%)
    • Against the Bond Issue (58,565 votes, 23%)
  • Authorize Baltimore County to borrow $35,000,000 for parks, preservation, and greenways projects, including but not limited to the acquisition of playgrounds, parks, and recreational facilities and the construction, improvement, repair, and maintenance of playgrounds, parks, and community centers.
    • For the Bond Issue (207,590 votes, 80.5%)
    • Against the Bond Issue (50,243 votes, 19.5%)
  • Authorize Baltimore County to borrow $17,500,000 for community college projects, including but not limited to the construction, improvement, maintenance, and modernization of buildings and other improvements for the community colleges.
    • For the Bond Issue (182,856 votes, 71.4%)
    • Against the Bond Issue (73,263 votes, 28.6%)
  • Authorize Baltimore County to borrow $200,000,000 for public school projects, including but not limited to acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, extension, repair, maintenance, conversion, and modernization of public school buildings and sites.
    • For the Bond Issue (208,254 votes, 79.2%)
    • Against the Bond Issue (54,722 votes, 20.8%)
  • Authorize Baltimore County to borrow $4,000,000 for agricultural and rural land preservation projects, including but not limited to the purchase of land, development rights, and conservation easements.
    • For the Bond Issue (184,656 votes, 71.9%)
    • Against the Bond Issue (72,293 votes, 28.1%)
  • Authorize Baltimore County to borrow $2.5 million for community improvement projects, including but not limited to construction, renovation, extension, alteration, repair, or modernization of street curbs, gutters, water, sewer, and other utilities, and sidewalk and pedestrian system improvements.
    • For the Bond Issue (208,529 votes, 80.3%)
    • Against the Bond Issue (51,190 votes, 19.7%)
  • Authorize Baltimore County to borrow $20 million for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, extension, repair, and modernization of waterway improvement and stormwater-related projects, including but not limited to shoreline stabilization, shore erosion control, wetland restoration, and streambank and riverbank restoration.
    • For the Bond Issue (210,192 votes, 81%)
    • Against the Bond Issue (49,439 votes, 19%)

See the full Baltimore County ballot for more information.

Cecil County had one ballot question on whether to amend the County Charter to:

  • Allow for non-elected Board Members, Committee Members, and Employees of State, County, and Municipal agencies, not directly supervised or substantially controlled by the Executive or Council, to be qualified to be County Council Members.
    • For the Charter Amendment (18,677 votes, 54.8%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (15,402 votes, 45.2%)

See the full Cecil County ballot for more information.

Frederick County had four ballot questions, including whether to amend the County Charter to:

  • Require the County Executive to provide any information that is requested by an individual County Council member which is for the purpose of introducing and evaluating legislation or to engage in the review and monitoring of Government programs, activities, and policy implementation.
    • For the Charter Amendment (88,446 votes, 84.9%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (15,735 votes, 15.1%)
  • Reduce the percentage of assessable property the County can pledge for debt from 5% to 3% of assessable real property, and from 15% to 9% of assessable personal property.
    • For the Charter Amendment (76,397 votes, 76.5%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (23,494 votes, 23.5%)
  • Require the County Council to fill a vacancy on the Council by choosing one of three persons from a list submitted by the central committee of the same political party as the vacating member. If no list is submitted or the vacating member was not a member of a political party, the Council shall appoint a person it deems best qualified to hold office. If the Council fails to fill the vacancy within 45 days, the County Executive shall fill the vacancy by following the same procedure.
    • For the Charter Amendment (78,196 votes, 76.5%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (24,087 votes, 23.5%)
  • Provide a process to fill a vacancy in the position of County Executive. The County Council shall fill a vacancy of the Executive by choosing one of three persons from a list submitted by the central committee of the same political party as the vacating Executive. If no list is submitted or the vacating Executive was not a member of a political party, the Council shall appoint a person it deems best qualified to hold office. If the Council fails to fill the vacancy within 45 days, the Council shall appoint the County’s Chief Administrative Officer.
    • For the Charter Amendment (77,517 votes, 76.2%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (24,246 votes, 23.8%)

See the full Frederick County ballot for more information.

Howard County had three ballot questions, including whether to amend the Howard County Charter to:

  • Allow the County Council to set dates for drawing new Council district borders. After each official count of everyone who lives in the County, the Council would quickly form a redistricting commission and set dates for the commission to submit a plan for new Council district borders, and for the plan to become law if the Council does not adopt a different plan.
    • For Council to Set Dates (91,681 votes, 71.2%)
    • Against Council to Set Dates (37,104 votes, 28.8%)
  • Shorten the term a resident would serve as a member on most County boards from five years to three years.
    • For Three-Year Term (115,960 votes, 87.6%)
    • Against Three-Year Term (16,449 votes, 12.4%)
  • Prohibit employment discrimination by Howard County based on a person’s disability, color, national origin, immigration status, age, occupation, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family status, or personal appearance. The prohibition would no longer include the word sex and the County could still not make an employment decision based on a person’s political or religious opinions or associations or race.
    • For New Discrimination Protections (105,828 votes, 79%)
    • Against New Discrimination Protections (28,086 votes, 21%)

See the full Howard County ballot for more information.

Montgomery County had four ballot questions, including whether to amend the County Charter to:

  • Prohibit the County Council from adopting a tax rate on real property that exceeds the tax rate on real property approved for the previous year, unless all current Councilmembers vote affirmatively for the increase.
    • For (194,474 votes, 61.6%)
    • Against (121,286 votes, 38.4%)
  • Prohibit the County Council from levying an ad valorem tax on real property that would produce total revenue (not including property tax revenue from certain enumerated sources) that exceeds the total revenue produced by the tax on real property in the preceding fiscal year plus a percentage of the previous year’s real property tax revenues that equals any increase in the Consumer Price Index.
    • For (134,940 votes, 43%)
    • Against (179,081 votes, 57%)
  • Expand the County Council to consist of 11 Council Members; increase from five to seven the number of Council Districts; and elect seven Council Members by district and 4 Council Members at large.
    • For (192,561 votes, 61.1%)
    • Against (122,589 votes, 38.9%)
  • Divide the County into nine Council Districts; eliminate at-large seats in favor of nine district positions; and reduce from five to one the number of Councilmembers each voter can vote for.
    • For (134,724 votes, 43%)
    • Against (178,566 votes, 57%)

See the full Montgomery County ballot for more information.

Prince George’s County had five ballot questions, including whether to enable the County to:

  • Borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $178 million to finance public works and transportation projects.
    • For the Referred Law (283,580 votes, 87.8%)
    • Against the Referred Law (39,242 votes, 12.2%)
  • Borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $28.8 million to finance the design and construction of library projects.
    • For the Referred Law (277,698 votes, 86.6%)
    • Against the Referred Law (42,860 votes, 13.4%)
  • Borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $44.5 million to finance construction projects at public safety and fire department facilities.
    • For the Referred Law (278,170 votes, 87%)
    • Against the Referred Law (41,553 votes, 13%)
  • Borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $133 million to finance construction and rehabilitation projects at county buildings.
    • For the Referred Law (242,422 votes, 77.7%)
    • Against the Referred Law (69,697 votes, 22.3%)
  • Borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $121.7 million to finance projects for community college facilities.
    • For the Referred Law (278,364 votes, 88.5%)
    • Against the Referred Law (36,204 votes, 11.5%)

See the full Prince George’s ballot for more information.

Talbot County had four ballot questions, including whether to:

  • Add a new section to the Talbot County Charter which would waive the residency requirement for the County Attorney, County Planning Officer, and County Engineer by an affirmative vote of four-fifths of the full Council.
    • For the Charter Amendment (7,357 votes, 42.7%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (9,877 votes, 57.3%)
  • Clarify that to identify properties for revenue cap purposes, the County will use the Constant Yield Tax Rate Certification prepared by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
    • For the Charter Amendment (12,067 votes, 71.5%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (4,821 votes, 28.5%)
  • Eliminate the reference to CPI-U in Section 614 while leaving the 2% cap on revenue in place.
    • For the Charter Amendment (11,656 votes, 68.2%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (5,430 votes, 31.8%)
  • Authorize the County Council to raise revenues above the revenue cap by up to one cent (1¢) per one hundred dollars of assessed value for five years only.
    • For the Charter Amendment (10,312 votes, 59%)
    • Against the Charter Amendment (7,155 votes, 41%)

See the full Talbot County ballot for more information.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: State Launches Online Tracking Tool for Mail-In Ballot Submissions

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Talbot Ballot Question Aims to Repeal Residency Requirement for County Employees

Maryland State Board of Elections: Daily Updates of Sent and Returned Mail-In Ballots

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Prince George’s Urges Additional State Funding to Support General Election

Prince George’s County Joint Letter to Governor Larry Hogan (September 22, 2020)

Previous Conduit Steet Coverage: State Posts Early Voting and Election Day Voting Center Sites

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Election Officials to Voters: Ignore Inaccurate Postal Service Mailers

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Get Your Ballot by Mail (Not Email) to Save Time and Money

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: New $250 Million Grant Program Available to Local Election Officials

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Check Your Mailbox: Mail-In Ballot Applications Are on the Way

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Board OKs MACo’s Request for Additional State Funding for Mail-In Ballot Applications

Senator Kagan’s Letter to the State Board of Elections (August 14, 2020)

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: State to Provide More Ballot Drop Boxes, Allow for Earlier Canvassing of Mail-In Ballots

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: MACo on General Election: State Should Pay Extra Ballot Costs

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: State Board to Governor: Designate All High Schools as Vote Centers On Election Day

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Local Officials Make Final Appeal to Avoid “Catastrophic Failure” on Election Day

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Hogan Demands Update on Mail-In Ballots, Polling Places for Nov Election

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Local Election Directors: Emergency Pollworker Shortage Will Lead to Long Lines, Voter Confusion

Letter from MAEO (July 23, 2020)

Conduit Street Podcast: Wrestling With Reopening

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: State Board Seeks Additional $20M for Nov Election

Letter from State Administrator LindaLamone (July 21, 2020)

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Several County Leaders Ask Hogan to Reconsider Directive for Nov Election

County Letter to Governor Hogan (July 14, 2020)

Maryland Congressional Delegation Letter to Governor Hogan (July 9, 2020)

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Local Election Directors Ask Hogan to Reject “Ill-Advised” Plan for Nov Election

State Board of Elections: Report on June 2 Election & Recommendations for November 3 Election

MAEO Letter to Governor Hogan (July 6, 2020)

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Local Election Administrators Urge (Mostly) Vote-By-Mail Election in November

Conduit Street Podcast: A View From the Senate

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Senate Leaders Outline Roadmap for November Election

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Maryland Senate Republicans Oppose Statewide Vote-By-Mail Election in November

Letter to State Board of Elections from Senate Republican Caucus

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Hogan Urges Marylanders to Vote By Mail for Presidential Primary Election

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Today: House-Senate Joint Committee Briefing to Review Primary Election

Conduit Street Podcast: Holding Elections Amid a Pandemic

Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: