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By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | July 25, 2010
A direct-mail appeal to 20,000 mostly Republican voters this weekend is Howard County Republicans' last chance to pull what has been a losing charter referendum petition drive out of a death spiral as time runs out. With two weeks until the Aug. 9 deadline for collecting 10,000 valid signatures to place a charter amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot, petition drive chairman Ken Aldrich said he has fewer than 3,000 signatures. He needs about 15,000 overall to end up with enough valid signatures for the Taxpayer Protection Initiative.
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NEWS
By David Hanlin | October 2, 2014
Comptroller Peter Franchot, by starting a petition drive, has embarked on a policy initiative to require all Maryland public schools start the school calendar after Labor Day. His policy proposal is given political cover through a commission report from the "Task Force to Study a Post-Labor Start Date for Maryland Public Schools. " That commission report is flawed, and I believe misguided. It will have deleterious consequences that have not been fully considered. The tagline for his campaign, "Let Summer Be Summer," speaks volumes.
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NEWS
By Larry Carson | larry.carson@baltsun.com | April 11, 2010
The apparent failure of a petition drive intended to block approval of up to 5,500 new residences in central Columbia because of signatures that were ruled invalid has underscored the effect of Maryland's strict rules governing validity and the lack of progress to ease them. Legislation that would return to a standard of "reasonable certainty" that the person signing is a legitimate registered voter instead of rules that require exact matches of every letter, including middle initials, has languished in the Maryland Senate.
NEWS
Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2014
OCEAN CITY - Squinting into the August sun at Ocean City's boardwalk Thursday, Comptroller Peter Franchot formally launched his petition drive to require Maryland schools to start after Labor Day. Franchot wants to deliver 10,000 signatures under the banner “Let Summer Be Summer” to Maryland lawmakers in January, when he will kick off lobbying for a new law that would forbid school districts from beginning classes before September. While the petition itself is symbolic, it continues the state comptroller's more than yearlong campaign to push back the first day of school.
NEWS
April 2, 2010
Anne Arundel County elections officials have certified a petition drive to try to halt a proposed slot machine site at a popular shopping mall in a referendum. The Anne Arundel County Board of Elections certified Thursday that 22,967 signatures gathered by foes of a casino at Arundel Mills mall are valid. Opponents of the site needed 18,790 signatures to put the proposal on the ballot in November. Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. has sued the board, contending that it overlooked fraud in the petition drive.
NEWS
July 10, 2011
Regarding the petition drive to suspend the law granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants: At least the immigrants are trying to better themselves by getting an education that will lead to jobs so they can become self-supporting members of society. The reason people are signing the petition has nothing at all to do with money. It's about bigotry. It's not as if the immigrants will be getting free tuition, after all. They will pay in-state fees. This is just another example of how this country clings to any opportunity to discriminate against a group of people, in this case against Hispanics.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2010
A Republican-sponsored petition drive intended to require a super-majority of County Council votes to increase taxes has failed to collect enough signatures to place the issue before voters in November. Ken Aldrich, who organized the drive for the local GOP, said his team collected about 5,000 of the 10,000 signatures required to put the measure on the ballot. Monday is the deadline for submitting the names. "We lose. We're not going to pursue it any more" this year, Aldrich said.
NEWS
Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2014
OCEAN CITY - Squinting into the August sun at Ocean City's boardwalk Thursday, Comptroller Peter Franchot formally launched his petition drive to require Maryland schools to start after Labor Day. Franchot wants to deliver 10,000 signatures under the banner “Let Summer Be Summer” to Maryland lawmakers in January, when he will kick off lobbying for a new law that would forbid school districts from beginning classes before September. While the petition itself is symbolic, it continues the state comptroller's more than yearlong campaign to push back the first day of school.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | October 31, 2011
A state appeals court has refused to revive a petition that would allow Howard County voters to weigh in on the zoning approval for a supermarket at a proposed shopping center in Turf Valley. The county's elections officials correctly decided that opponents of the supermarket failed to garner enough valid petition signatures needed to place the store's zoning approval on the ballot, a state appeals court ruled last week. The challenge to the 2008 zoning change was brought by the Howard County Citizens for Open Government.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | June 21, 2014
I was a little startled by something I saw Monday morning on Interstate 70, about halfway between Hagerstown and Frederick. As I approached the Appalachian Trail footbridge that passes over the highway, I looked up and saw what appeared to be a cardboard cutout of Neil Parrott, the conservative Western Maryland politician who made a name for himself with a campaign against same-sex marriage. He also tried to beat back the Dream Act, the law that grants immigrants in the country without documentation who graduate from Maryland high schools an in-state tuition discount at our colleges and universities.
NEWS
By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun | May 30, 2014
With a weekend deadline looming, a conservative group - shadowed by an equal rights organization - is making a final push in an uphill effort to collect enough signatures to force a ballot referendum on a transgender rights law scheduled to take effect this fall. "The bottom line right now is we're going full speed ahead," said Washington County Del. Neil Parrott, a Republican who chairs MDPetitions.com. As of Friday, the group was thousands of signatures short of its goal. It faced a deadline of midnight Saturday to collect about 18,500 signatures to keep its effort going.
NEWS
May 4, 2014
These last few years will go down as a time when Marylanders took steps to recognize the humanity of those who have too often been marginalized. In 2011, the General Assembly voted to stop penalizing children whose parents brought them to the United States illegally when it came time for them to go to college, an important gesture in the nation's polarized immigration debate. In 2012, lawmakers extended equal rights to same-sex couples who wanted to marry. And in 2014, legislators reached out to perhaps the most marginalized group of all, those who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth, by passing the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, which Gov. Martin O'Malley plans to sign this month.
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Letter to The Aegis | June 4, 2013
Editor: I am distressed and saddened that the death penalty repeal is not being brought to referendum because not enough signatures were secured in the short amount of time provided to do so. As the relative of a murder victim I would have liked the opportunity to sign a petition and to go door-to-door to gather signatures. I would have gladly stood outside Harford Mall or any other public place to collect signatures. The petition drive apparently was never well-publicized on TV. I did not encounter any volunteers throughout Harford County seeking signatures.
NEWS
June 3, 2013
So what was all this about a voter referendum or two? Opponents of a pair of controversial measures backed by Gov. Martin O'Malley and approved this year by the Maryland General Assembly - a repeal of the death penalty and landmark gun control legislation - claimed the local populace was outraged by both. So certain was this that many fully expected them to be brought to referendum and defeated by voters in 2014. The petition drive to bring the death penalty repeal to referendum was even championed by Western Maryland Del. Neil Parrott who was instrumental in bringing three laws to referendum last year through use of a web site that made the signature-gathering process easier.
NEWS
By Benjamin Todd Jealous | June 2, 2013
The death penalty debate in Maryland is finally over. This spring's decision by the General Assembly to replace the death penalty with life without parole was cemented last week, when right-wing activists failed to muster enough signatures to force the issue onto the ballot. We, the people of Maryland, have sent a clear and firm message: capital punishment belongs in our past, not our future. In doing so, we have joined New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Illinois and Connecticut as the sixth state in six years and 18th in the nation to abolish the death penalty.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2013
Maryland's new gun control law will not head to voters now that organizers of a petition drive to halt the law failed to turn in any signatures before Friday night's deadline. "This means there were no successful petitions this year," Stephen Ackerman from the Secretary of State's Office said in an email. A referendum would have delayed the gun law until after the November 2014 election, and the petition drive's failure was welcomed by gun control groups. "This is a great day for Maryland," said Vincent DeMarco, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2013
Maryland's death penalty will be wiped from the books in October now that efforts to reinstate capital punishment have fallen short. The petition drive to halt repeal of the death penalty ended Friday afternoon, when organizers said they could not collect enough signatures to go forward. Meanwhile, advocates who worked for nearly a decade to end capital punishment in Maryland celebrated the final landmark in their victory. The failure is the first for MdPetitions.com, which had successfully forced a statewide vote on three laws, including same-sex marriage, in 2012.
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