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…

Comments Off on State Adopts New Policy on Accessible Ballots
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…

Comments Off on Committee Supports McCray for City Council Vacancy
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…

Comments Off on State Issues New Guidance on Campaign Contributions, Allowable Expenditures
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…

Comments Off on Russian Hackers Targeted Election Databases in Florida Counties
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…

Comments Off on 2019 End of Session Wrap-Up: Elections
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…

Comments Off on Baltimore County Ballot to Include Campaign Public Financing Option
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…

Comments Off on MACo Encourages Early Voting Center Expansions as a “Local Option”
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…

Comments Off on Counties Seek Option for Publicly-Financed School Board Elections
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…

Comments Off on 2019 Legislative Handbook Series – An Indispensable Reference
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…

Comments Off on Sun’s Political Retrospective Captures Maryland’s Ups and Downs in 2018
Close Menu