Counties: Election Laws Deserve Much-Needed Reboot

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally this week testified in support of SB 158 – State Board of Elections – Contracts and Invoices – Requirements before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. This bill, sponsored by Senator Cheryl Kagan, is a MACo Legislative initiative to clarify and update election laws emphasizing fairness, transparency, and accountability.

By clarifying and codifying the 20-year precedent that governs the funding responsibility between the State and counties for voting machines and related systems, this bill delivers stability and predictability for State and local budgets. SB 158 also requires the State Board of Elections (SBE) to take necessary and appropriate steps to provide transparency and accountability for large contracts/procurements, which will afford ample opportunity for input from local governments and Maryland voters.

From the MACo testimony:

An essential function of Maryland’s county governments is to fund and oversee elections, which is especially challenging amidst a public health crisis. Current law fails to recognize modern trends in voter preference, capabilities of new technologies, and realities of  administering elections in our local communities. Even once health concerns abate, the State’s odd, antiquated mix of laws and practices in governing elections deserves a much-needed reboot.

The bill’s crossfile, HB 35, sponsored by Delegate Julie Palakovich Carr, will be heard next week in the House Ways and Means Committee.

More on MACo’s Advocacy

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.
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