Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s pointed attacks on Democrats who overturned his veto of expanded voting rights for felons appear to have tapped into a current of anger among some state residents, who are sending hate mail and making threatening phone calls to lawmakers who voted for the override. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) read excerpts of letters his office has received since the Senate voted last week on the felon voting rights bill, which will allow felons to vote while they are on probation or parole. “You need to check yourself, you moron,” one letter said. “You are only selfish fools.” At least one senator who voted for the override said his office received a call from a man who said he hoped that the senator’s wife and daughter would be raped and murdered.
Miller called on Hogan (R) to tone down his rhetoric, which included labeling those who backed the override as a “radical minority” and speculating that some lawmakers would lose their seats over the issue. “This is not Washington,” Miller said. “This is Annapolis.”
The governor took to Facebook to urge constituents to contact their senators and express outrage after the override, which passed 29 to 18, without a single vote to spare. “This is the worst vitriol I have ever experienced in my 34 years in the legislature,” said Sen. John C. Astle (D-Anne Arundel), whose office staff received the phone call about his wife. “It’s just unbelievable.”