By | July 21, 2022

Maryland voters are now facing weeks or days of uncertainty as they wait to find out who won the closely contested primary elections. Gov. Larry Hogan increased the force of his veto to prevent the unprecedented scramble.

The term-limited Hogan (R) spokeswoman was present in Colorado Tuesday to cast primary ballots. She blamed Democratic legislators who had presented the proposal ahead of what they feared would be chaotic primaries.

Michael Ricci stated, “It’s unfortunate that the General Assembly didn’t pass a clear early-canvassing law,” in response to questions regarding Hogan’s decision.

The legislation in question allowed election workers to count mail-in ballots earlier, alleviating a confluence rooted in the coronavirus panademic, redistricting and Maryland’s only law prohibiting their tabulation after Election Day.

It didn’t conform to Hogan’s standards of election security, he stated, and the governor rejected the proposal in late may.

Hogan’s actions added to the state’s unique primary. This was delayed by a redistricting suit and moved to the middle of the summer vacation season. Voters were not paying attention. Already, election offices were already struggling to cope with the staffing shortages caused by the pandemic.

John T. Willis is executive in residence at University of Baltimore’s School of Public and International Affairs. He stated that “this problem was unnecessary.” “Everytime you give what to the public appears solvable, but wasn’t solved,” people will question why. This leads to distrust.

Nearly half a million people requested mail-in ballots in this year’s election — the most ever recorded by the state — and people who switched to remote voting during the pandemic continued doing so. As of Monday, 213,019 ballots had been returned.

The Associated Press called several high profile races on Tuesday night, even without counting the ballots. This was because the margins were too wide to overcome. They predicted Del. Daniel L. Cox (R.Frederick), would win the Republican governoral contest, Del. Brooke E. Lierman, a Democratic candidate for comptroller from Baltimore City, would win the Democratic nomination. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D.Md.) would also be clinched. would be nominated for the Democratic nomination as attorney general.

Hogan claimed that his decision was based upon a provision in the bill that would have relaxed security requirements during a time when there is increasing mistrust about the integrity of elections. This has been a hot issue since the 2020 election, and the unfounded claims of fraud by former President Donald Trump.

2022 Maryland primary election results

Hogan stated in his veto letter that “maximizing voter participation is essential to a healthy democratic system.” “Electoral security and voter confidence are equally important, but most scholars agree that mail-in voting is more vulnerable to abuse than voting in person. … The appearanceof fraud or impropriety can undermine citizens’ faith in their electoral system.

Hogan stated that the General Assembly passed a bill that would have allowed voters to fail to sign their ballots to give a signature in person, by email, mail, or text. He wrote that “it remains silent on basic security precautions such as signature verification.”

The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Cheryl C. Kagan (D.Montgomery), and other voting right advocates stated that Hogan’s rejection of the bill, which would have allowed local boards to begin tallying mail-in votes on June 30, eight days before the start to early voting, is why election results could be delayed by days, if no longer weeks.

She stated, “It is so important that our local board cannot be blamed für the delay.” It won’t be like they aren’t working hard enough. Fraud will not cause it. It won’t be because of fraud. Larry Hogan’s veto over legislation that would have solved it will make it impossible.

Kagan wrote June 1 a letter asking the governor to issue an executive or, as he did in 2020 during the heights of the pandemic. This would allow for early counting.

She claimed she had never received a reply.

What to know about Maryland’s delayed elections

Ricci stated that the situation was not justifiable for the Kagan-recommended action.

The law requires that certain conditions are met before a state emergency can be declared. He said that it is not intended to be a solution or fix for any inconvenient situation including legislative ineptitude.

The state’s elections board could have intervened. It considered legal action but decided against it last month.

William G. Voelp is the chairman of Maryland’s State Board of Elections. He said that there are many people who would like for the state of Maryland to get relief from the court so that canvassing can begin early. He said, “And they were one of them.”

At its June 28 meeting, the board decided to not pursue legal action.

Voelp stated that boards would have had only four days to canvass if early voting began on July 7th, when mail-in ballot count was not possible.

He stated, “The facts were in front of us and the timing around us did not support us going to heroic efforts.”

Instead, workers on the board will start processing ballots on Thursday and release results at the end each day. Local boards will decide whether to canvass on weekends. It remains to be decided when the winners can be declared. Candidates are frustrated by the uncertainty surrounding results.

James Shalleck (one of two Republican primary candidates to the office of attorney general) said Tuesday that “it’s going be a really frustrating night for a lot of politicians in statewide.” He is also the former president of Montgomery County Board of Elections. “It will take at most a week to get really solid figures,” Shalleck said.

Parry Hughes, who voted for Calverton, stated that he doesn’t care about the final results, as long as the reasons behind the vote are valid. He said he understands that there are still thousands of ballots to process and that he trusts the election board.

Hughes stated, “They are usually very reputable. They’re very good at it.”

Hughes is however concerned that candidates might not accept a loss. Hughes stated that if you don’t win, it doesn’t mean you won this time. “The whole thing is set up to… If they don’t like it, just change the vote.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.