Maryland voters handily turned down a constitutional convention referendum question. By law, the question has to appear on the ballot every 20 years. Some 60 percent of the state voters were against the question that would have mandated a state constitutional convention.
In a separate ballot question, voters also approved a measure bTC which will add language to the constitution allowing state and local officials to serve as members of a military reserve while also working for the state.
While arguments have been made that the constitution prohibits such dual service to the government, a handful of state judges and legislators are and have been active members of the Maryland National Guard or federal reserve units. One, 43-year-old Baltimore County District Court Judge Lawrence Daniels, was called to active duty Sept. 11 and currently is serving in Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf standoff.
Had voters rejected the question, the state Attorney General's Office was expected to make the matter legal anyway, according to assistant attorney general Robert A. Zarnoch, who said federal rules already sanction dual service.
In a third ballot question, voters approved a question that would shift the budget authority for the state's 24 Circuit Court clerks from the executive branch to the judicial branch.