Articles about voting issues in Maryland.

Maryland: Judge declines to order reprint of Maryland ballots to include Democrat Valerie Ervin’s name | The Baltimore Sun

Siding with state elections officials Monday, a circuit judge allowed them to proceed with Maryland’s forthcoming primary with ballots that do not include the name of Valerie Ervin, the last-minute Democratic candidate for governor. Ervin’s name will appear instead on ballots as the running mate of the late Kevin Kamenetz, the former Baltimore County executive who had been one of the leading contenders in the June 26 Democratic primary before dying of a heart attack in early May. Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge William C. Mulford said making a change to millions of ballots with just over a week until early voting begins threatened to cause more confusion than allowing for the rare appearance on the ballot of a deceased candidate and his running mate. “I just can’t imagine turning this election upside down,” Mulford said as he ruled on Monday. Read More

Maryland: Ervin gets party’s backing on ballot | The Baltimore Sun

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Valerie Ervin received a boost Thursday in her attempt to get her name onto the June primary ballot when the state Democratic Party publicly supported the effort. “The Democratic Party believes that Maryland law requires the Maryland Board of Elections to do everything in its power to list all eligible gubernatorial candidates and to conduct a smooth election process for all voters,” party Chairwoman Kathleen Matthews said in a statement Thursday. “Voters deserve nothing less.” And an attorney for Ervin and her running mate, Marisol Johnson, appeared before the Maryland State Board of Elections in Annapolis to press the campaign’s case for new ballots. Read More

Maryland: Judge denies Ervin request to order new ballots, sets hearing for Monday | The Washington Post

An Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge has refused to order the Maryland State Board of Elections not to use ballots for the June 26 Democratic primary that list Valerie Ervin as a candidate for lieutenant governor. Judge Laura Sue Kiessling scheduled a hearing for Monday on whether the state must change its ballots to reflect that Ervin has replaced her former running mate, the late Baltimore County executive Kevin Kamenetz, at the top of the ticket. Kamenetz died unexpectedly May 10. Ervin, a former member of the Montgomery County council and school board, took his place on the ballot, and tapped former Baltimore County school board member Marisol Johnson as her running mate. Read More

Maryland: Gubernatorial candidate threatens legal action if new ballots not printed | WTOP

Maryland gubernatorial candidate Valerie Ervin is threatening legal action after state election officials announced they would not print new ballots reflecting her recent candidacy following the sudden death of her running mate. The state board of elections announced that it would not reprint ballots for the June 26 primary to reflect Ervin as a Democratic candidate for governor. She was previously running as lieutenant governor on the ticket with former gubernatorial candidate and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who died of a heart attack on May 10. Ervin’s campaign said in a news release Monday night that it had sent a letter to State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone, threatening legal action if ballots are not reprinted, along with other suggestions on what election officials could do to better address the change in candidates. Read More

Maryland: Political Insiders Plotted the Most Gerrymandered District in America—and Left a Paper Trail | The Washingtonian

If you drive west to Garrett County, Maryland, and ask people what Potomac is like, they usually say they don’t spend much time “downstate.” They watch the Pittsburgh nightly news and, on Sundays, root for the Steelers. When I asked people in the tony Washington suburb of Potomac about Oakland, the Garrett County seat, they unfailingly replied, “Where’s that?” Maryland is a ragtag jumble of mansions and mountain towns—it’s normal not to know much about what goes on 170 miles away. But the people who live along the Youghiogheny River and the ones who take the Red Line into DC each morning have something in common: They are all residents of Maryland’s 6th Congressional District. Which means these strangers-turned-bedfellows share something else: They are the most gerrymandered people in America. At least they are for now. In March, the Supreme Court heard a groundbreaking challenge to the district’s wild contours, brought by seven Republican voters. These Marylanders argue that the Grand Canyon–size district—in a state whose seven others would barely cover the map of Massachusetts—was redrawn to punish the region’s GOP voters. Read More

Maryland: Bill seeks transparency in online political ads | Associated Press

In the wake of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential race, Maryland is close to enacting a law that some experts say would set a new standard for how states deal with foreign interference in local elections and increase overall transparency in online political ads. If signed by Gov. Larry Hogan, the law would require online platforms to create a database identifying the purchasers of online ads in state and local elections and how much they spend. The measure would effectively extend disclosure rules that apply to paid political ads for radio, television and print to social media. Read More

Maryland: State pounces on federal funding for election cybersecurity | CyberScoop

All nine members of U.S. Congress representing Maryland requested this month that Republican Gov. Larry Hogan bolster the state’s election security and infrastructure before the 2018 midterms. Gov. Hogan agreed. In a letter to the governor, lawmakers wrote, “With the 2018 midterm elections fast approaching, we hope you will work quickly and collaboratively with the Maryland State Board of Elections to ensure Maryland has access to this critical federal funding.” Maryland is one of 21 states that was notified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last year that Russia attempted to hack their election system. Though the tallying of votes was not thought to have been affected, and many states were only scanned by Russian actors, legislators hope that this new election security funding will prevent future hacks. Read More

Maryland: With session over, attention turns to election security | Frederick News Post

With the close of the legislative session on Monday, all eyes are turning to the 2018 elections — and election security. On the final day of the legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 1331, which requires the state administrator of elections to report security breaches and significant attempted violations within a week of their discovery to the State Board of Elections, governor, legislative leaders and attorney general. Delegate Alonzo T. Washington (D-Prince George’s County) sponsored the legislation after it came to light that Russian hackers tried to penetrate Maryland’s online voter registration system in August 2016. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that voter registration databases or election agency public websites in 21 states were probed by Russian hackers during the 2016 election. At a hearing on Washington’s bill last week, Nikki Charlson, Maryland’s deputy elections administrator, said the state’s registration system was “probed,” but not “breached.” Read More

Maryland: Bill that allows automatic voter registration becomes law without Gov. Hogan’s signature – The Washington Post

A bill that allows Maryland residents to automatically register to vote when they interact with state agencies has become law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature. Maryland joins the District and 11 other states, including Oregon and California, that allow people to register while renewing a driver’s license, signing up for health coverage with the state Health Benefit Exchange or receiving help from a social service agency. “It’s a great step forward and will have tremendous impact for generations to come,” said state Sen. William Smith (D-Montgomery), the bill sponsor. “This will allow thousands of more Marylanders to participate in the democratic process.” Read More

Maryland: Here’s why cybersecurity experts say Maryland’s ballot delivery system is a target for hackers | The Washington Post

Cybersecurity experts are asking lawmakers to bring Maryland’s ballot access laws — which they say prioritize accessibility to an extent that makes the voting system vulnerable to hacking — in line with other states ahead of November’s elections. Information revealed last month by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III about Russian interference in the political process highlights the need for states to examine the security of voting systems, advocates and computer scientists warn. But legislators say they must balance those concerns with ensuring ballots can be easily obtained by all eligible Marylanders who want to vote. “There is a tension there,” said state Sen. Cheryl C. Kagan (D-Montgomery). “With all the news of election tampering in 2016, it’s critically important that voters have confidence in the security and accuracy of our elections . . . . We are also a fairly progressive state that wants to make it reasonably easy for people to vote.” Read More