Russian Hackers Targeted Election Databases in Florida Counties

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s reported findings of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election were linked to at least two Florida counties. Counties administer and fund elections at the local level, overseeing more than 109,000 polling places and coordinating more than 694,000 poll workers every two years. According to the National Association of Counties (NACo), in November 2016, the Russian Federation’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) sent over 120 emails containing malicious software to email accounts…

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2019 End of Session Wrap-Up: Elections

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. Voting Systems MACo opposed legislation that would require each voter…

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Baltimore County Ballot to Include Campaign Public Financing Option

Baltimore County voters will get to choose more than their next representatives in 2020, they will also decide whether to give local candidates access to public funds. By a 5-2 vote, the Baltimore County Council yesterday approved a proposal from County Executive Johnny Olszewski to put a Charter Amendment on the 2020 ballot to establish a public financing program for the offices of County Council and County Executive. Similar to systems adopted by Montgomery County, Howard…

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MACo Encourages Early Voting Center Expansions as a “Local Option”

On February 5th, Kevin Kinnally represented MACo in front of the Ways & Means Committee by testifying in support with amendments for HB 79 - Election Law - Early Voting Centers - Establishment and Hours. This bill would increase the required number of early voting centers in counties with at least 100,000 registered voters while retaining a local option for smaller counties to add one additional location. By applying an amendment in which the local option…

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Counties Seek Option for Publicly-Financed School Board Elections

MACo’s Associate Director, Kevin Kinnally, testified in support for HB 147, Election Law - Local Public Campaign Financing - Boards of Education, February 5, 2019. This bill allows counties to provide public campaign financing to candidates seeking to serve as an elected member of the county board of education. From the MACo testimony: This legislation properly leaves the decision for establishing a system of public campaign financing in the hands of the local governments, who are best…

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2019 Legislative Handbook Series – An Indispensable Reference

The Department of Legislative Services has released its quadrennial Legislative Handbook Series, a deep and useful reference series that encapsulates nearly every issue of government at the state and local level. The series may be downloaded or viewed online for free at the links below: Legislative Handbook Series: Vol 1 – Legislators Handbook Vol 2 – Government Services Vol 3 – Revenue Structure Vol 4 – Budget Process Vol 5 – Personnel, Pensions & Procurement…

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Sun’s Political Retrospective Captures Maryland’s Ups and Downs in 2018

A Baltimore Sun article (2018-12-20) by Luke Broadwater offered a retrospective of the rough-and-tumble political happenings of 2018. The article covered: (1) the fortunes and misfortunes of Maryland's Republicans, (2) the role United States President Donald Trump played in shaping the state's political dynamics; (3) issues regarding Maryland's Congressional Delegation; (4) the changing face of the Maryland General Assembly; (5) key legislation passed in 2018; and (6) the fate of several state constitutional amendments that were on…

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Conduit Street Podcast: #NG911 Report, Kirwan Testimony, Ranked-Choice Voting, #MACoCon, and County Awards

  MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast. You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website. Useful Links: Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Commission Charts Course for #NG911, Crafts Preliminary Recommendations Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Counties Weigh in on Kirwan Previous Conduit…

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Preview the 2019 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in the year ahead – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative Services, the 2019 Issue Papers are an annual staple for the Annapolis policy-inclined population.…

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Conduit Street Podcast: Election Tidbits, Congressional District Dilemma, and Amazon Is Coming! … Sort Of

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Michael Sanderson and Kevin Kinnally discuss some of the "too close to call" election races in Frederick County, review the fate of some of the more intriguing ballot questions from across the country, explain the significance of a federal court's ruling that Maryland's 6th Congressional District is unconstitutionally gerrymandered and must be redrawn in time for the 2020 election, and ponder what Amazon's decision to co-locate…

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