by David M Higgins II
Annapolis, MD- “There has been a lot of misinformation and partisan politics in recent weeks, and I want to take a moment to set the record straight once and for all,” said Governor Larry Hogan.
“On June 2 the State held primary elections that had no early voting, had very few polling places open on election day, and had voted by mail. As Comptroller Franchot reiterated today at the Board of Public Works” it was an unmitigated disaster”. There were rampant problems with thousands or tens of thousands of Marylanders either not receiving ballots, receiving ballots late, receiving ballots for the wrong districts, receiving ballots in the wrong language, or having to wait in hours-long lines at the handful of polling places that were open.”
Leaders in the Maryland General Assembly called for a special investigation and even called for new leadership at the State Board of Elections. The Governor ordered a review, and after a month, the State Board of Elections has yet to reach any kind of consensus on the issues surrounding the debacle, nor any recommendations.
On June 22, 2020, the Center for Disease Control(CDC) put out guidelines for elections that called for giving voters as many options as possible for the November 3, 2020, Presidential election.
The Governor noted that they are trying to take the”Politics” out of this and find answers that conform to the guidelines and to state law, which was authored by the General Assembly which requires voting on Election Day, and which requires polls to be open. Also, the law requires early voting and Hogan took the law one step further, requiring the State Board of Elections to immediately mail an absentee ballot to every single registered voter in the State of Maryland.
Hogan wants this election to be an “All of the Above” election with the most choices possible to Maryland voters. Hogan does say they are encouraging everyone to vote by mail to limit the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 disease. Hogan stated that if you are unable to vote by mail, by law the State has eight(8) days of early voting and they are encouraging Marylanders to vote early. As required by Maryland law, the polls will be open and Hogan states, “We cannot have a repeat of the primary where people were unable to cast their vote.”
“I don’t know of anything tougher to suppress the vote than to not have the polls open, and people not knowing where to go and having four-hour waits as they did during the primary.”
Maryland is only one of fourteen states in the United States to mail ballots or applications for an absentee ballot to all registered voters.
” I am calling on leaders of both parties to stop all the political nonsense and to join me in encouraging people to vote and make sure everyone has a chance to vote on election day, whichever way they choose.”