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NEWS
June 28, 2006
Unless a court intervenes, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s effort to bring Maryland's early-voting law to referendum has failed for a lack of legal signatures. That's the good news. Now it's time to put a moratorium on all the unfounded accusations that have accompanied this dubious effort. Last week, the State Board of Elections found that Marylanders for Fair Elections submitted petitions with 16,924 valid names - or 138 fewer than needed to put the law on the fall ballot. Yet even in defeat, proponents couldn't help but claim that fraud was to blame.
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NEWS
Dan Rodricks | June 25, 2014
In Ukraine last month, some people braved the threat of violence to get to the polls to vote for a new president. According to news reports, heavily armed men in ski masks tried to scare off voters by smashing ballot boxes and blocking entry to polling stations in the eastern part of the country; election officials were threatened, some kidnapped. In Maryland, we just had a primary election to nominate candidates for governor - you know, like the president of Maryland - and the voter turnout was embarrassingly low . The vast majority of registered Democrats and Republicans did not participate.
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NEWS
By KELLY BREWINGTON and KELLY BREWINGTON,SUN REPORTER | July 7, 2006
Just days after opponents of early voting took their case to the state's highest court, Democratic leaders shot back yesterday - announcing a campaign to encourage voters to take advantage of Maryland's new but contested law that allows some polling places to open for five days before Election Day. "While the legal fight may very well continue, I think it's incumbent upon all of us to prepare the electorate to take advantage of this law that has been...
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger and Jean Marbella, The Baltimore Sun | June 24, 2014
As votes were being counted Tuesday night, politicians and poll workers estimated that the turnout for the primary was among the lowest in recent history - leading some to call for the voting to be moved back to the fall in future years. Despite vigorous campaigning from a full slate of candidates for governor, attorney general and many high-profile local races, such as Baltimore state's attorney, some said the primary didn't take precedence over summer vacations. "The General Assembly should re-examine this," Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, a Democrat, said at Hillcrest Elementary School in Catonsville.
NEWS
By ANDREW A. GREEN AND STEPHANIE DESMON and ANDREW A. GREEN AND STEPHANIE DESMON,SUN REPORTERS | May 18, 2006
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. escalated his assault yesterday on an early-voting system approved by the Democrat-controlled legislature this year, calling it a "farce," questioning its integrity and renewing threats of a lawsuit at the state Board of Public Works meeting. Heading into what many believe will be the most competitive election season in modern Maryland history, each party is accusing the other of manipulating the election system to its advantage. Republicans say Democrats realize they could never win a fair fight and have chosen to install new rules and procedures that invite fraud and deceit.
NEWS
By KELLY BREWINGTON and KELLY BREWINGTON,SUN REPORTER | July 1, 2006
An Anne Arundel County judge dealt a major blow yesterday to a governor-backed petition drive that seeks to overturn early-voting provisions enacted by the General Assembly. It was the most recent setback for Marylanders for Fair Elections, a volunteer group supported by Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. The organization is trying to place a referendum on the November ballot that could reverse two early-voting bills passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature. The group has been embroiled in a dispute with the State Board of Elections about whether it has submitted enough valid signatures to move forward with the effort.
NEWS
By ANDREW A. GREEN and ANDREW A. GREEN,SUN REPORTER | June 20, 2006
Opponents of allowing selected polling stations to open five days before Election Day reached a milestone in their drive to overturn the measure yesterday, while Democrats intensified their rhetoric in support of the plan. The State Board of Elections confirmed yesterday that Marylanders for Fair Elections, a volunteer group backed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s re-election campaign, collected more than the 17,062 valid signatures necessary to meet a first deadline in a petition drive against early-voting procedures adopted by the General Assembly.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | November 5, 2008
With many people waiting in line for hours to cast their ballots, Marylanders voted overwhelmingly yesterday to change the way future elections are conducted by allowing polling places to open two weeks before Election Day. With more than half of precincts reporting, voters were approving Question 1 by a margin of more than 2 to 1, setting the stage for Maryland to join the 32 other states which allow early voting. Millions of Americans in those states cast their votes in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Specifically, the change approved to Maryland's constitution allows the General Assembly to enact an early-voting law. The Maryland Democratic party has pushed the idea for years, arguing that opening the polls sooner would afford more people an opportunity to participate in elections.
NEWS
By KELLY BREWINGTON and KELLY BREWINGTON,SUN REPORTER | June 28, 2006
The leaders of a Republican-backed petition drive to overturn Maryland's early-voting law filed suit in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court yesterday, alleging that the State Board of Elections illegally disqualified part of their effort. Marylanders for Fair Elections, a volunteer group with ties to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., filed the lawsuit in response to the board's determination last week that one part of the group's drive fell 138 signatures short of moving forward. The group also filed a request for an emergency hearing on the issue, which is scheduled for tomorrow.
NEWS
By KELLY BREWINGTON and KELLY BREWINGTON,SUN REPORTER | February 10, 2006
Senate Republicans accused a State Board of Elections officer yesterday of providing information to Democrats to bolster their case for overturning the governor's vetoes on voting bills. Democrats called the charge an example of partisan politics. Sen. Alan H. Kittleman, who represents parts of Carroll and Howard counties, blamed the director of candidacy and campaign finance at the elections board for offering "talking points" to a member of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller's staff.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | June 20, 2014
More than 140,000 Marylanders went to the polls to cast early ballots in Tuesday's election, setting a record for a state primary, according to figures released Friday. The eight-day early-voting period ended Thursday night with more than 4 percent of the electorate taking advantage of the option. The 141,590 who voted early this year roughly doubled the number who went to the polls before Election Day in the 2010 and 2012 primaries. However, it is difficult to make meaningful comparisons because there were no high-profile, competitive statewide races in either of those previous primaries.
NEWS
Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | June 19, 2014
The primary campaign for governor officially ends next week, but today is the last day voters can skip lines at the polls and cast a ballot early. More than 60 voting centers across the state will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. today.   So far, only smidgen of Maryland's 3.4 million registered voters cast a ballot ahead of time. That leaves most of the state's voters with an option to show today, on election day next Tuesday or not at all. The seven candidates - three Democrats and four Republicans - vying for their respective party's nomination crisscrossed the state Wednesday urging supporters to head to the polls early.  Together, the campaigns have knocked on thousands of doors and made even more phone calls trying to convince voters to participate.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | June 15, 2014
More than 46,500 ballots were cast in the first three days of early voting in the Maryland gubernatorial primary, according to the State Board of Elections. The bulk of those came in the first two days, on Thursday and Friday, when 20,382 ballots and 17,115 ballots were cast, respectively, according to board data. There were 9,024 ballots cast Saturday. The total of 46,521 represents about 1.4 percent of eligible, active voters on precinct registries. Maryland started offering early voting in 2010.
NEWS
By Benjamin Todd Jealous | June 12, 2014
Early voting starts today in Maryland. As citizens across the state head to the ballot box, it is an appropriate time to reflect on everything that Maryland has done in the past few years to make it easier to vote, while so many other states around the country are making it harder.  The stakes for voting rights have never been higher. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, accelerating efforts in at least 19 states to restrict the right to vote.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | June 12, 2014
The primary election officially began Thursday with early voting, but Anne Arundel County elections officials are expecting low turnout for both early voting and traditional election day voting. Anne Arundel's turnout "might be the lowest ever" at 18 percent to 22 percent, said Joseph A. Torre III, the county's elections director. Typical turnout is in the 28 percent to 33 percent range. Torre based his prediction on the low volume of requests for absentee ballots and the relatively few people who registered as new voters or changed their affiliation in the runup to the primaries.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2014
With more than a dozen new locations and longer hours, the State Board of Elections will begin Maryland's most extensive early voting period yet on Thursday. Early voting will be available at 63 locations - including at least one in every county - from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through June 19. The early voting period opens for the third time in the state's history, following a series of legislative hurdles and legal battles over constitutional questions and concerns that the system invites fraud and disproportionately favors Democrats.
NEWS
August 29, 2010
Change can come slowly, at times, to the Land of Pleasant Living. Case in point: new ways of voting. Starting this week, Marylanders can avoid long lines on Election Day by casting their ballots days in advance at early-voting locations around the state. Or if they prefer, they can mail in an absentee ballot. No excuses necessary. This newspaper has long advocated in favor of such common-sense changes, and we're pleased to see Maryland finally beginning to catch up. But much more could still be done to make it easier for citizens to exercise their right to vote.
NEWS
By MELISSA HARRIS and MELISSA HARRIS,SUN REPORTER | July 26, 2006
Maryland's highest court rejected yesterday a Republican-backed challenge to the state's early-voting law, ending hopes of getting the issue on the ballot as a referendum and greatly increasing the likelihood that voters will have an additional five days to get to the polls this fall. The Maryland Court of Appeals issued a brief order yesterday afternoon, a few hours after hearing oral arguments, and said it would explain its decision in a later opinion. The decision lets stand a ruling by the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court that a missed deadline by supporters of the proposed referendum doomed its chances.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | January 23, 2014
Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler formally filed paperwork to run for governor Thursday, using the occasion to lament low voter turnout and push a new proposal to expand early voting to include the Saturday before elections. Gansler and his running mate Del. Jolene Ivey said they chose to file Thursday for its symbolism -  the 50th anniversary of the constitutional amendment that abolished poll taxes in national elections. In a web video released Thursday morning, Gansler and Ivey said that modern life makes it difficult to get to the polls on Election Day and the state should let people vote on the weekend immediately before it.   “On this historic day, we're reminded that there's still work to be done to protect voting rights here in Maryland,” said Gansler, a Montgomery County Democrat and former state's attorney.
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