State Moves Forward with Plan to Conduct Presidential Primary Election Via Mail

As health officials warn that social distancing and other measures to contain the COVID-19 epidemic might be in place months, the Maryland State Board of Elections (SBE) yesterday voted to ban any in-person voting for the special general election on April 28 and recommended against in-person voting for the June 2 presidential primary election. https://twitter.com/KKinnally_MACo/status/1242902825631453184 Earlier this month, Governor Larry Hogan ordered the special general election to fill the late Rep. Elijah Cummings’s congressional seat…

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Howard to Host Virtual Town Hall on Coronavirus, Census, Upcoming Elections

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will host a Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, March 26th at 6:30 pm to answer questions and concerns from County residents concerning COVID-19 and the local response, the census, and upcoming elections. “I want the Howard County community to know that our government is working tirelessly to keep our public safe and informed,” said Ball. “We’re hosting this town hall to provide updates, clarity, and reassurance to our residents as…

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2020 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 2020 General Assembly.  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. This year, for the first time in since the Civil War, the General Assembly closed session early on…

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Governor Hogan Postpones Presidential Primary Election Amid Coronavirus Epidemic

Governor Larry Hogan today postponed Maryland's presidential primary election scheduled for April 28 due to concerns over the COVID-19 epidemic. The presidential primary will take place on June 2. Early voting will be conducted from May 21 through May 28. The new deadline to request an absentee ballot for the presidential primary election is May 26 if a voter wants to receive a ballot by mail, or May 29 if a voter wants to receive…

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Baltimore City Considering Funding Public Campaign Financing with Energy Tax Revenue

Baltimore City will consider legislation that would mandate money from the City's energy tax be set aside for the Fair Election Fund that supports public financing for candidates. The bill introduced by Councilman Kristerfer Burnett would require $2.5 million from the energy tax go directly to public campaign financing. The City's energy tax, which is based on the number of units of energy delivered to users, was projected to bring in $41,208,800 in fiscal year…

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Hogan Proposes Supplemental Budget

Governor Larry Hogan today submitted a supplemental budget for fiscal 2021 that requests $10 million for emergency coronavirus preparedness expenses and funding for several state and local initiatives. The supplemental budget includes $10 million for emergency coronavirus preparedness expenses. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Governor Hogan yesterday submitted emergency legislation to authorize the transfer up to $50 million from the Revenue Stabilization Account (rainy day fund) to fund costs associated with the novel coronavirus. “Our…

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MACo Opposes Costly Polling Place Mandate

MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally this week testified in opposition to HB 1314 - Election Law - Voting Systems - Accessibility for Voters With Disabilities before the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill nominally seeks to ensure that voters with disabilities are provided specified access to voting that is equivalent to the access afforded voters without disabilities. MACo does not raise policy objections with this goal – county concerns are merely practical and cost-driven.…

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Counties Oppose Costly Election Audit Mandate

MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally testified in opposition to HB 1172 - Election Law - Postelection Tabulation Audits - Risk-Limiting Audits before the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill requires the State Board of Elections, in collaboration with the local boards of elections, to conduct a risk-limiting audit of at least one statewide contest and any other contests selected for audit by SBE, following each statewide election. Risk-limiting audits employ statistical methods to ensure a large,…

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Missed the Kirwan Hearing? Here’s Great Coverage

Maryland Matters breaks down the Kirwan Blueprint legislation, summarized some of the most on-point testimony, and gives the best policy summary of the issues now facing the General Assembly in this center stage education debate. You'll be forgiven if you missed the all-day "rally" and public hearing on the Kirwan Blueprint legislation on Monday February 17. It's all available online if you're a binge-watcher. If you're looking for the Cliff's Notes version, though, to stay…

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