Maryland Early Voting, Question 1 (2008)
The Maryland Early Voting Amendment, also known as Question 1, was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Maryland as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure authorized the General Assemnly to enact legislation to allow qualified voters to vote at polling places inside or outside of their election districts or wards and to vote up to two weeks before an election.
|Maryland Question 1 (2008)|
Election Results via: Maryland State Board of Elections
Text of measure
The text of the measure can be read here.
The Maryland General Assembly passed similar early voting legislation in 2005 and 2006. A circuit court judge in Anne Arundel County ruled that both of those those measures were unconstitutional. The legislature responded by putting this measure on the ballot.
The measure enacted the following provisions:
- Authorize the state legislature to enact a process whereby voters will be able to vote in person in the two weeks preceding an election.
- Designate three polling places in each county to be opened for the 10 days before Election Day.
View the full text of the Legislative summary here: Maryland Question 1 (2008) Summary
- Delegate Jon Cardin (D-11), chair of the Maryland House Election Law Subcommittee.
- Delegate John P. Donoghue (D-2C)
- Dorothy Kaetzel, Washington County Election Director
- Common Cause Maryland
Arguments in favor
Notable arguments made in support included:
- It will increase turnout and decrease long lines.
- Early voting makes it more convenient to vote, and encourages voter participation by those that don't have time on election day.
- Absentee voting isn't sufficient in all cases, including unforeseen circumstances that may keep a voter from making it to the polls before they close
- The Maryland Taxpayers Association
- Delegate Anthony O'Donnell (R-29C), House Minority Leader County
- Delegate Michael Smigiel, Sr. (R-36)
- Delegate Christopher Shank, (R-2)
Notable arguments made in opposition to the measure included:
- It is politically motivated to get more Democrats to vote in a state where they have a 2-to-1 advantage in voter registration.
- Because Maryland is a state that doesn't require voters to show photo ID, this measure increases the chances of vote fraud.
- Those who cannot make it to the polls on time can already vote absentee.
- Implementing the measure will be costly.
- Maryland 2008 ballot measures
- 2008 ballot measures
- List of Maryland ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Maryland
- Early voting coming up for a vote
- Early voting in Maryland?
- Ballot question on early voting may be the most important vote on election day
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