Allegany to Host National Voter Registration Day Open House

The Allegany County Board of Elections will be hosting an open house to celebrate National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Staff members will be on hand to take voter registration applications, election judge applications, demonstrate voting equipment, and answer questions from the public. According to a press release: National Voter Registration Day is a national holiday celebrating our democracy. The first National Voter Registration Day was…

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Wicomico Welcomes New Council Member, Nicole Acle

Nicole Acle has been selected to fill the District 2 vacancy on the Wicomico County Council. Acting with a fast-approaching deadline, the members of the Wicomico County Council unanimously selected Nicole Acle to fill the vacant District 2 seat. The vacancy arose weeks ago when then Council Member Marc Kilmer announced his intention to resign and leave to attend to family matters in Idaho. From coverage in the Salisbury Times: Acle will be the sole…

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State Adopts New Policy on Accessible Ballots

Maryland's voting system requires voters to cast their vote using a pre-printed paper ballot. But many people with disabilities cannot mark paper ballots without assistance, so they rely on special voting machines — known as ballot marking devices (BMDs) — that are equipped with earphones and other modifications. There are growing concerns that ballots cast by disabled voters are segregated and too easily identifiable in the overall collection of ballots. That's because the paper ballot used…

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Committee Supports McCray for City Council Vacancy

Danielle McCray, a familiar face to many in City Government, was the overwhelming choice of a committee tasked with nominating a replacement for the District 2 vacancy. With the rise of Council Member Brandon Scott to serve as Baltimore City Council President, his former seat in District 2 was open. A nominating committee heard from some two dozen candidates last night, before casting its lopsided vote for Danielle McCray. McCray has served as staff in…

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State Issues New Guidance on Campaign Contributions, Allowable Expenditures

The Maryland State Board of Elections last week issued new guidance on allowable campaign expenditures. Permissible expenditures now include child care expenses and cybersecurity costs. Maryland law requires campaign funds to be used solely for the purpose of supporting or opposing a candidate, question, or political committee. (See Election Law Article §1-101(aa).) Furthermore, there must exist a nexus between the expenditure and the candidacy for which the expenditure relates. In other words, the expenditure is permissible…

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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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