Referendums on two hot-button issues fail to make Maryland ballot

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June 3, 2013

Maryland

By Brittany Clingen

Annapolis, Maryland: Though the general assembly passed several controversial laws during its most recent session, none of the campaigns hoping to challenge them were successful in gathering enough signatures to land veto referendums on the ballot in November 2014. After the general assembly approved bills repealing the death penalty and enacting stringent gun control practices, grassroots referendum campaigns sprang up in an attempt to reverse these laws.[1]

Given the divisive nature of the laws and the fact that three veto referendums were successfully placed - though they were subsequently defeated - on the November 2012 ballot, it came as a surprise to some that those supporting the 2013 referendums were unable to collect the 18,579 signatures required by the May 31st deadline.[2] Others, however, were less shocked by the lack of referendums. American University Professor of Political Science, David Lublin, said, "I think the level of organization has not been what it was. Gathering signatures is more difficult than people realize."[1]

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