Maryland "Dream Act" referendum opponents challenge petitions
Casa de Maryland and other opponents filed a lawsuit in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court against the proposed measure. According to reports, the lawsuit argues that more than half of the collected petition signatures were collected illegally.
Specifically, plaintiffs argue two points. The process of collecting signatures was ripe for fraud considering that signers used a website, mdpetitions.com, to download and print voter information. "If I know your birth date and where you live, your ZIP code, assuming you live in Maryland, I can put in your name, the computer program will print out a form with everybody’s name who lives in that household who is registered to vote. I can sign your name and have other people sign those other names, and no one would know the difference because the signatures aren’t checked against anything," said Joseph Sandler, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney working for Casa of Maryland.
Del. Neil Parrott, chairman of the petition group, said, "This fraud that they’re saying could exist has always existed in every petition drive. What they’re saying is there are not petitions that could exist in Maryland."
The proposed referendum, also known as the "Dream Act" referendum was certified for the ballot on July 22. The proposed measure calls for overturning legislation that guarantees in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
- The New York Times, "Immigrant Advocates File Suit on Petition Signatures," August 1, 2011
- Gazette.net, "Next up in Dream Act battle: a lawsuit," August 1, 2011
- The Washington Post, "Court to decide if immigrant tuition law goes to Maryland ballot," August 1, 2011
- WCBC Radio, "Maryland's Version Of the Dream Act Causing Much Debate," accessed April 18, 2011