GANSLER, BROWN, AND MIZEUR ARE ALL NEO-LIBERALS THROWING A FEW PROGRESSIVE BONES!
Regarding corporate WYPR being the go-to place for MD Election coverage:
As someone taking WYPR to all of the election agencies and public media oversight for failing to provide free and fair election coverage that statement is LOL!!! WYPR provides Montgomery County with strong election coverage while blacking out all other state elections and coverage. They do indeed break with the requirements of public media in providing fair and balanced election coverage.
When I moved to Maryland several years ago and saw a crony and captured political system with no public airing of issues I first went to Maryland Chapter of League of Women's Voters. I noticed they had debates that included all the candidates on the tickets for all parties and each candidate was able to state what the issue surrounding their platform would be. This is recorded on video and then the League solicits all of Maryland media outlets to play and/or link to the League of Women Voter's site with these debates.
ALL MARYLAND MEDIA REFUSES TO PLAY OR LINK TO THESE DEBATES THAT ALLOW ALL CANDIDATES FOR MARYLAND OFFICE STATE THEIR PLATFORM AND ISSUES. EVEN ALL OF MARYLAND'S 'PUBLIC' MEDIA.
As Frazer Smith stated, if you do not have a campaign war chest you will not get your campaign word out in Maryland. What we know about Maryland is that we do indeed have a highly educated public and we do have citizens overwhelmingly for campaign finance reform.....the flooding of airwaves turns people off. As Maryland works toward having all campaigns be public financing, we work as well for a state public system of debate forums for people and candidates. THIS IS WHAT MUST HAPPEN TO REBUILD FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS IN MARYLAND.
MY PLATFORM SHOUTS LOUDLY TO DO JUST THAT AND AS GOVERNOR.,.....YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES TO BUILD THOSE PUBLIC FORUMS FOR DEBATE ON ISSUES AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT.
Did you notice that the Baltimore City Paper used to have an entire issue dedicated to elections and airing each candidate's platform but stopped in 2010 just as Wall Street took control of all of US media----making the US ranked with Romania in free press? Now, they have been put out of business with the consolidation into Baltimore Sun.....which does not play League of Women Voters debate forums or link to them.
BEST PLACE FOR CANDIDATE COVERAGE-----GO TO THE MARYLAND ELECTIONS WEBSITE FOR THE CANDIDATES WEBSITES/FACEBOOK PAGES!!!!
So, for real democratic election coverage start with the group below. They aren't perfect, but they do try.
The League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Making Democracy Work
League members from around the state get a briefing at Union Station before visiting Congressional Offices.
The League of Women Voters is dedicated to providing well-researched and unbiased information so that all voters may become better informed. Browse this website or use the Search Box to learn more about issues, events, and your elected representatives. You can also:
During Elections, the League of Women Voters assists people to become more informed participants in their community and their government by
producing Voters Guides;
assisting at voter registration drives and providing information about voting;
and hosting forums for candidates.
The LWV also
researches issues such as transportation, housing, environmental concerns, campaign reform, etc. then produces Fact Sheets;
conducts community forums on local, state, and national issues;
distributes informational brochures and pamphlets;
and provides information about government on the national, state, and local levels.
As a candidate the first thing one does after paying filing fees and getting your campaign committee together is to meet Maryland campaign requirements.....the first being to connect to campaign finance reporting systems. Right away you notice......even Maryland's Board of Elections is out-sourced to a private contractor ----in this case PCC Technology Group-----to do the work of election oversight.
Now, as we are seeing with the Maryland Health Care Exchange debacle, the State of Maryland needs a strong ITT/technology department as a public entity. We do not need to outsource every public IT job to the highest bidder. The state and localities need to hire public employees that do IT work. This level of privatization of public work is ridiculous. The amount of money lost to fraud, corruption, and incompetence pays for good public sector jobs.
WE FOUGHT ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES BECAUSE WE FEARED PRIVATE CORPORATIONS AND NO PAPER BALLOTS WOULD MEAN FRAUD....AND INDEED, THAT IS WHAT WAS SHOWN TO HAPPEN.
Campaign Finance Reporting and Management System (CFRMS)
On August 23
, PCC Technology Group demonstrated the public site for the online, browser based campaign finance reporting system. The demonstration included registering a political committee with
electronic signature capabilities and verification. Additionally, SBE and PCC have completed functional requirement documents for the filer software and administration management and look forward to those demonstrations shortly. Ms. Mack asked about the impact of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee’s recommendations will have on the new system, to which Mr. DeMarinis responded that minor changes would be needed.
As a candidate who knows that if the Trans Pacific Trade Deal (TPP) is passed none of the campaign finance laws would be in affect because.......global corporate tribunals would be writing all laws that WE THE PEOPLE will not be able to contest and US Constitutional laws would be lost with sovereignty.
If an organization is not shouting out against TPP and education the public about TPP-----THEY ARE SUPPORTING TPP.
Maryland has a strong movement on campaign finance reform and most citizens support getting big money out of politics. Yet, Maryland media only considers a candidate in reporting that has a war chest.....SEE THE DISCONNECT?
I'M GOING TO OUT ALL OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS BELOW SUPPORTING THIS GOOD BILL FOR HAVING NOTHING ON THEIR WEBSITES ABOUT TPP. THIS MOVEMENT MEANS NOTHING IF TPP IS PASSED.
It appears that all of the pols supporting it so far are neo-liberals who are working to push TPP-tied policy forward. Remember, when a pol supports public private partnerships.....corporate welfare that hands all public policy writing and control to corporations.....and they love connecting the state and localities to all kinds of Wall Street financial instruments leveraging Maryland's future for decades handing the public over to Wall Street control-----
THEY ARE NEO-LIBERALS AND ALL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES ARE SILENT ON TPP AND SUPPORT THE ABOVE. BROWN, GANSLER, AND MIZEUR.
MD Campaign for the Free & Fair Elections Amendment
Maryland Campaign for the Free and Fair Elections Amendment
Coordinated by Get Money Out - Maryland (GMOM) Charlie Cooper President, 410-624-6095
Co-sponsor the GMOM Rally Jan. 21, 2014, 11 A.M. Lawyers Mall, Annapolis to oppose “corporate personhood and “overturn Citizens United on the 4th anniversary of that tragic Supreme Court ruling. Following the rally, participants will make lobby visits with senators and delegates.
Sponsors of last year’s rally expected to sponsor this year’s, with more to be added, include:
Get Money Out - Maryland, Progressive Maryland, Common Cause Maryland, Maryland Public Interest Research Group, Maryland United for Peace and Justice, MoveOn.Org Baltimore Council, Progressive Democrats of America – Maryland, Maryland Nonprofits, Fund Our Communities, Prince George's Peace & Justice Coalition, Peace Action Montgomery, Generations for Peace and Democracy, Progressive Cheverly, Howard County Peace Action, Pax Christi, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, United Workers, Pledge of Resistance.
Endorse the binding resolution bill [See CONFIDENTIAL drafts of full bill and letter attached]
to be introduced by Sen. Jamie Raskin (and championed by Del. Sheila Hixson in the House, with co-sponsors Dels. Mizeur, Hucker et al.). It calls for an Article V convention of the states to draft an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to do 3 things:
Overturn Citizens United and regulate money in politics
Reserve constitutional rights exclusively to natural persons (not corporations)
Guarantee that every individual citizen has the constitutional right to vote (for the first time) in order to roll back growing efforts to suppress the freedom to vote.
Why endorse this bill
When policy outcomes are controlled by who invests most in Congressional campaigns, large corporations and the wealthiest use their influence to dominate our politics. They enact policies that further increase their wealth and power in opposition to the public interest. Revenue, effort and resources are redirected away from jobs, education, housing, health care, infrastructure, environmental protection, renewable energy and the needs of workers, seniors, children and families.
Background: Supreme Court Decisions Undermining Democracy
“Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United.” - President Barack Obama
“Money does not equal free speech. We’re going to work as best we can to try to rectify that.
It may take a constitutional amendment. Because this Supreme Court as currently constituted equates money with free speech and that fundamental difference prevents virtually any kind of meaningful legislation from happening. That means we’ll continue to have a system that is polluted with money…” - Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President at its 2013 Convention, September 9th
“No sensible reform is possible until we end this corruption… We will never get your issue solved until we fix this issue first… Yours is the most important issue, but mine is the first [that] we have to solve before we get to fix the issues you care about.” - Harvard Law Professor Larry Lessig
The Citizens United v FEC decision by the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for unlimited campaign expenditures in elections, which corporations and the extremely wealthy have used with devastating impact in the last few elections. This misguided decision reversed decades of campaign finance regulation at the state and federal level, turning our public elections into private auctions. With regard to voting rights, Supreme Court justices in the Bush v Gore decision declared that there is no individual right to vote in the Constitution and in its aftermath, there has been a concerted attack upon the right to vote across the country. These legal travesties require remedy if we are going to preserve representative democracy and create a more perfect union.
Why We Must Amend: To Preserve and Defend Democracy in America
American democracy is under assault by the most powerful economic forces and the wealthiest individuals the world has ever known. Our country is being called a “flawed democracy” by some, and even a former Democratic President said outright, “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.” This is America in 2013, and we must take action to reverse course before our country falls into even darker days.
The right to vote is being gutted in states around the country. The rising tide of campaign cash places free and fair elections in jeopardy. The wounds initially opened in our democracy by Bush v Gore have only been further expanded by a Supreme Court recklessly demolishing the walls of separation between wealth and state. They have arrogantly handed down decision after decision that defends the right of corporations to influence our elections but derides the right of everyday Americans to participate in them, and now they are considering going even further with McCutcheon v. FEC.
If it is not the fate of representative democracy to die face down in a pile of campaign cash, suffocated under the boot of a lobbyist-driven dictatorship of outside interests, then we must discover a way to revive our democracy. Ever since the founding of our country, Americans in every generation have overcome overwhelming odds to create a more perfect union, including the Abolitionists, the Suffragists, and the Civil Rights Movement which came before us. Now it is our turn.
As was the case with those Progressive movements, our goal is to amend the U.S. Constitution to make America more democratic, more inclusive, and more accountable to the people. We must amend, because the Supreme Court overturned federal campaign finance law with Citizens United v FEC and rejected state level attempts to preserve anti-corruption laws with American Tradition Partnership v Bullock. That means no law passed, at either the state or federal level, can be protected without an amendment, and the only authority superior to the Supreme Court is the U.S. Constitution, so we must amend.
Every generation of Americans has amended the Constitution (with the exception of the current one), which has been amended 27 times in our nation’s history. While Congress has ultimately proposed all previous amendments, 4 out of the last 10 Amendments as well as the Bill of Rights used state level campaigns calling for a convention to force Congress to act. Therefore, most amendments to the Constitution come from states issuing a call for an amendment and pushing for a convention of the states to do so, if Congress will not act. Historically, if you want an amendment, this is how to do it.
Congress is broken. We have been told by Democratic members in leadership that there’s no way 2/3rds of Congress will vote to propose an amendment to fix our elections. Congress could not even pass something as decent and simple as the DISCLOSE Act when they had Democratic majorities in both houses with a Democratic President. Yet, when asking what we could do for them, multiple members of Congress said, “Free us from fundraising.” It appears that they see the problem, but they cannot find their way to the solution.
The good news is that democracy is still alive at the state level, where state legislators are responsive to their constituents and similarly concerned about the threats to our democracy. Nearly 90% of Americans are deeply concerned about the corruption of our federal government, and the dysfunction in government just surpassed the economy as the number one issue to most Americans. While Congress is broken, state legislators in Maryland can take action with other states to drive toward a solution.
As was the case with the 17th Amendment (direct election of U.S. Senators), there were powerful institutional forces that would prevent the Congress from ever taking action – it’s difficult to get 2/3rds of Senators to throw away their own method of selection. But with pressure from state legislatures across the country and a populist movement forcing their hand, the people were able to wrench the 17th Amendment out of Congress and then ratify it into the Constitution. It will likely take a similar strategy for us to win.
Whether proposed by Congress or proposed via a convention of the states, any amendment would need to be approved by 75% of the states prior to being added into the Constitution.
With 20 state legislatures controlled entirely by Democrats and 27 controlled entirely by Republicans (3 are split), only the most popular proposals supported by a vast majority of the population across lines of partisanship will make it through this political gauntlet.
Of course it is hard to amend the Constitution, as it should be, but guaranteeing the right to vote and getting money out of politics are fundamental reforms the vast majority of Americans support. The majority of Americans agree elections should be free of the corrupting influence of excessive spending by outside interests, fair enough that any citizen can run for public office, and that every American should have the right to vote. It is just this kind of issue that can unite Americans across political divides and create a movement to amend that will ultimately prevail.
The right of the people to choose our own elected officials, write our own laws, and determine the fate of our country together should be enshrined into the U.S. Constitution.The perverse doctrine that artificial entities have inalienable rights and that systemic bribery is a form of protected speech must be explicitly rejected. We must reclaim representative democracy in this country, for ourselves and for all future generations of Americans.
Our generation’s greatest responsibility is to get private money out of public elections and enshrine the right to vote in our nation’s most sacred document. It’s time to use the tools of democracy – all of them – while we still have the ability to do so in order to fix the problems we face. Only once we have freed our elections and government from the corruption currently plaguing them, and have restored the right of the people to choose the course of our country, can we begin effectively fixing the myriad of other fundamental problems we face.
Many people joining our efforts around the country, as well as those working with the Maryland Campaign for the Free and Fair Elections Amendment, cite climate change as their driving motivation, recognizing that environmental problems cannot be solved without removing the corrupting influence of fossil-fuel companies on our government. But whether it’s economic justice, workers’ rights, women’s rights, civil rights, social justice, or any of the many other Progressive campaigns and causes, we must stand united against the privilege of the world’s wealthiest individuals who dominate our political discourse and drown out the voices of everyday Americans.
To win on these issues in the long term, we must reset the rules of the political game. Powerful economic forces and corporations have used their economic clout to rig our laws to benefit only the 1% to the detriment of the rest of us and the future of our country. Amending the Constitution to restore free and fair elections and guarantee the individual’s right to vote will give us a fighting chance.
The one unifying demand of reformers nationwide should be to end the corruption in D.C. and to save our democracy. When we achieve the historic feat of amending the Constitution, we will know that we all participated in creating a more perfect union. We can do this, and the tools of the internet provide us with a powerful arsenal, but ultimately, we as Americans must take action before it is too late.
Process and Strategy: The Two Ways to Amend the Constitution
As public concern and anger build about the destruction of our democracy, so does agreement that the only effective means to reverse Citizen’s United and the perversion of “corporate personhood” is by amending the U.S. Constitution, which can be done in two ways:
a) REQUEST that Congress pass such an amendment, which this Congress is free to ignore, so far has, and always will according to nearly all progressive observers, in and out of Congress. Thus far, on record as supporting an amendment to overturn ‘Citizens United’ are 108 members of the Maryland General Assembly, 15 other states, 350 U.S. cities and towns, 125 members of Congress and a clear majority of the American public. However, Congress is the source of the dysfunction, so this is like asking cancer to cure cancer. Congress could not even pass something as simple and decent as the DISCLOSE Act, so cannot and will not fix it according to most informed observers. Even members of Congress themselves who ask that we “free them from fundraising,” state plainly that “the current Congress [or leadership] is incapable of proposing an amendment.”
b) REQUIRE: When 2/3rds of the states (currently 34) demand a ‘convention of the states’ for the purpose of proposing such an amendment, Congress is forced to assemble the convention (also known as an Article 5 Convention.) Already over 30 states – representing the entire political spectrum - have active campaigns underway to pass a state resolution calling for a convention to propose anamendment for Free and Fair Elections, overturning the ‘Citizens United’ decision, and eliminating ‘corporate personhood.’ Maryland could lead the way, as it did on the Living Wage, along with Vermont and Iowa as most likely to pass the “binding resolution” among at least 10 states introducing one in 2014.
c) RATIFICATION: Once an amendment is proposed, whether by a 2/3rds vote of both houses of Congress or by 2/3rds of the states (currently 34) calling for a convention, it must then be ratified by 3/4ths of the states (38).
For reference, here is the text of Article V in the United States Constitution:
Article V: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress....
While use of a convention of the states to propose an amendment is unprecedented, state-level campaigns to call a convention helped add 4 out of the last 10 Amendments and the Bill of Rights.
So historically, most amendments to the Constitution have been added by utilizing this strategy.
Historical Perspective: Previous Amendments, Movements and Conventions
Our Constitution has been amended 27 other times, and at least once by every generation of Americans. In the past 100 years, America has amended the Constitution 9 times, once in as little as 100 days. The Founders explicitly gave citizens the ability to amend the Constitution and used it themselves to establish the Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments to the Constitution.
Three amendments passed as recently as in the 1960’s. In 1971, just four months after Congress submitted it to the states, the 26th Amendment (allowing 18-year-olds to vote) was ratified in just four months. The most recent amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1992, more than 200 years after it was first presented in the US House of Representatives by Representative James Madison of Virginia.
The 17th Amendment (for direct election of Senators) was proposed by Congress in 1913 only after the states were within one state of the 2/3rds needed to call for a convention of the states. Also, Congress proposed the 21st amendment (repeal of prohibition), 22nd amendment (term limits for the President), and 25th amendment (clarifies Presidential succession), only after many state legislatures had called for a convention of the states for each of these issues.
The amendment power of the states included in Article 5 is a core component of the Constitution, meant to be used when our federal legislators no longer represent the nation’s citizens. In the
“final argument” of the Federalist Papers (no. 85), Alexander Hamilton said the Article V amend-ment process was the means by which the states would rein in an out-of-control or corrupt federal government.
Even though a convention of the states has not yet occurred, there is a strong precedent for a single issue convention to propose amendments, as there have been over 700 state applications, but never 2/3 on a single subject, which would have compelled Congress to call a convention on that subject.
There have been over 233 state level conventions to amend state constitutions and none has ever exceeded the scope of their mandate (although the ultra right-wing John Birch Society likes to promote the conspiracy theory of a “runaway convention”).
Furthermore, a convention would only propose an amendment that would then need to be ratified by 75% of the states, 20 of which are controlled by Democrats and 27 of which are controlled by Republicans (3 are split). Only proposals that enjoy widespread cross-partisan support, such as voting rights and getting money out of politics, will make it through that incredibly narrow political gauntlet, and anything 75% of the states want in the US Constitution probably belongs in there anyhow.
Whether it’s through Congress or a convention of the states, it is clear that we must amend the U.S. Constitution if we are to preserve representative democracy for future generations of Americans.
This is what strong citizen action can do----protect free and fair elections. Maryland is heading toward online voter registration which is not a bad thing, but hacking can undermine this process and we know how easily accessed these public systems can be.
The population most connected with having a hard time registering are the poor and working class.....both not having easy access to computers or online registration. The next being troops overseas. We need to monitor this process to be sure it is not compromised by hacking and false voter registration.
THE FACT THAT THE PUBLIC HAS TO WATCH AS PUBLIC FUNDS ARE CONSTANTLY SPENT ON THESE POLICIES NO ONE WANTS----AND THEN WATCH THEM DISMANTLED---SHOWS WE HAVE A DYSFUNCTIONAL SYSTEM
Pencils Ready? Maryland to Return to Paper Ballots for 2016 Election
Maryland state election authorities are shopping for a new paper ballot system to have in place by the 2016 presidential election.
Posted by Deb Belt (Editor) , November 22, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Maryland voters will switch from touch screens to using paper ballots for the 2016 presidential election.
After a short experiment with electronic voting machines, the state of Maryland has decided to move back to paper ballots for the 2016 election, reports the Washington Times.
The state decided to switch back to paper ballots after long-standing voter outcry and fear that computer based voting may lead to some ballots not being counted, the newspaper said. Maryland’s electronic voting machine has been controversial ever since its first institution in 2002.
Voters raised a ruckus in 2004 after the state moved to electronic voting machines that eliminated paper ballots and still raises suspicions, reports WJZ TV. But the switch to paper ballots was delayed until now because of limited funding.
Local election officials are already expressing uncertainty about what could go wrong when the state switches from an electronic voting system to using paper ballots, says the MarylandReporter.com.
“This is a big transition for us,” said Montgomery County Board of Elections Deputy Director Alysoun McLaughlin told the website. “Everything from set up, to warehouses, to the voting experience is based around touch screen [voting] machines.”
State officials told the website they plan to run mock elections prior to the 2016 elections.
The top reason Maryland voters give for not coming to the polls is -----there are no candidates for whom I would vote. Indeed, the democratic party in Maryland is controlled by neo-liberals. This sentiment soars in the City of Baltimore. How do you change that sentiment?
YOU REBUILD ALL PUBLIC STRUCTURES THAT GET THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN THE DISCUSSION ABOUT PUBLIC POLICY AND YOU HAVE LOTS OF PUBLIC FORUMS FOR ALL CANDIDATES GETTING THEIR PLATFORMS OUT.
So, if the problem is no candidate for which people want to vote-----all of these laws below are nice, but window-dressing as the structure for public engagement is gone. That's why early voting always has no one coming to use this policy. GOOD POLICIES BUT THE ELEPHANT IS MISSING.
I ask.....why does Maryland have a primary in June when primaries are the most important part of the election? Do we really want two candidates in a general election having more than the three months to say the same thing over and over? OF COURSE NOT. IT MAKES NO SENSE TO SHORTEN THE PRIMARIES WITH LOTS OF CANDIDATES. So, we need the primaries moved back to September. The reason given for this move is to give troops more time to register for elections. I DO NOT THINK THIS IS A PROBLEM....
Early Voting, Absentee Ballots, and Provisional Ballots in Maryland
By Mike Unger
Early voting, absentee ballots, and provisional ballots are all available in Maryland, but they are all very different. An absentee ballot is a ballot cast in advance of the election because the voter is unable to make it to the polls, while a provisional ballot is cast at a polling place when there is a question as to the voter's eligibility. Early voting is permitted at selected sites throughout the state.
Any voter registered in Maryland can vote by absentee ballot. Simply submit a request to receive an absentee ballot. For the 2010 general election, the deadline is Tuesday, October 26, 2010. Your request must be received by 8 p.m. if you mail or deliver the application or 11:59 pm if you fax or email it.
After you receive your absentee ballot, read the instructions. You will need a No. 2 pencil to vote. You will be voting a paper ballot and must completely fill in the oval to the left of your choice. Do not vote for more candidates than the number specified in the contest heading. If you wish, you may vote for fewer candidates than specified. Do not sign your name or make any other mark on your ballot.
Write-in voting is only allowed in general elections. A general election ballot has spaces for write-in votes. To cast a write-in vote, fill in the oval to the left of the space for the write-in vote, and write the last name and first name (or first initial) of the person in the appropriate space.
You must mail or hand deliver your absentee ballot to your local board of elections. You cannot email or fax your voted absentee ballot or take your voted ballot to an early voting center or a polling place.
If you hand deliver your ballot, you must deliver it to your local board of elections by 8 p.m. on election day.
If you mail your ballot, you must mail it on or before election day and it must be received by your local board of elections by 10 am on September 22, 2010 (primary election) and November 12, 2010 (general election).
Anyone registered to vote in Maryland is eligible to vote early. For the general election, early voting centers will be open starting Friday, October 22, 2010 through Thursday, October 28, 2010, except for Sunday, October 24th when early voting centers are closed.
Early voting centers will be open from 10 am until 8 pm each day of early voting. Anyone in line at 8 pm will be allowed to vote.
Find your early voting polling place
Provisional Voting is a safeguard to help ensure that no eligible voter is denied the right to vote. If there is a problem verifying a voter's eligibility, he or she can cast a provisional vote that which will be counted if local election board can verify that the person is eligible and registered to vote. Reasons that a person might cast a provisional ballot include:
Name is not on the precinct's voter registry because voter moved within the state of Maryland and did not update voter registration. (Provisional ballots must be cast in the voter's current voting precinct to be counted)
Identification is required and voter is not able to provide it. ID is required when this is the first time the person has voted in Maryland or the voter has not previously met identification requirements. Identification must be supplied before the first Monday after the election for the provisional ballot to be counted.
Records indicate that you received an absentee ballot. If you have not voted already, you may cast a provisional ballot. It is illegal to vote twice.
Your right to vote was challenged by a poll watcher. Poll watchers, who are registered voters designated by a candidate or political party to watch the polls, may challenge your identity. If this happens, the voter must swear out an affidavit affirming his or her identity, and the poll watcher swears one citing the reason for the challenge.
If poll hours are extended by court order, those voting after the regular close of polls must vote by provisional ballot.
To find out if your provisional vote was counted, call 800-222-8683 ten days after the election.
This is indeed the case. Since Maryland has no public oversight of any agency, one has to be worried about fraud and corruption in this registration process. IT IS CRITICAL THAT WE ALL SHOUT OUT FOR FREE AND FAIR DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS NOW----TPP WILL KILL THE NEED TO ELECT PEOPLE AS CONTROL OF LAW-MAKING WILL GO TO GLOBAL TRIBUNALS.
'Michael Greenberger, the University of Maryland law professor who serves as director of the Center for Health & Homeland Security, says the identification system currently in place is not an effective way to authenticate a voter; in fact, it's vulnerable to fraud'.
Experts worry about election fraud threat
Maryland online registration, absentee ballots raise alarms
The money spent on at least two referendum campaigns will likely be in the millions. (August 18, 2012)
5:00 a.m. EST, February 6, 2014
By now, just about everyone connected to the Internet is familiar with this process: Required to fill out and sign a form of some kind, you ask for and receive a hyperlink via email. You open the link, find the form you need (perhaps a pdf), download it, print it, fill it out and mail it off.
That's a common practice, though increasingly old-school by today's online standards. There doesn't seem to be anything particularly risky about the transaction; few would think twice about conducting business that way.
But while integrity is important in all transactional realms, it rises to precious when we're talking about voting.
And that's why a similar process, new this year and slated to be part of Maryland's primary election in June, has some civic-minded computer security experts sounding alarms about the potential for fraud.
A small group of them, including three researchers based in other states, has also warned Maryland's Board of Elections about vulnerability in the state's online voter registration process. In fact, more than two years ago, they found the Maryland system to be susceptible to "large-scale, automated fraud" and said so in a letter to the board.
The concerns of these experts, however, have not led to major changes. Online registration has been available since before the 2012 elections. The new plan for absentee ballots — making them available electronically to any Maryland voter who requests one — is in place.
Regarding the latter, here's what the Board of Elections website says:
"Election officials can mail or fax your ballot to you, or you can download your ballot from the States website. If you want to download your ballot, make sure you provide your email address. ... We will send you an email when your ballot is ready. The email will include your ballot tracking number and a link where you can print your ballot and instructions. You must enter the ballot tracking number to access your absentee ballot."
This is what has security experts concerned. They say there is no way to know for certain that the person requesting the absentee ballot is the one filling it out and mailing it in.
Michael Greenberger, the University of Maryland law professor who serves as director of the Center for Health & Homeland Security, says the identification system currently in place is not an effective way to authenticate a voter; in fact, it's vulnerable to fraud.
Therefore, he says, "bad actors" could impersonate real voters, have the tracking numbers sent to them by email, then fill out and return ballots to local election boards without any meaningful check for fraud. Voter signatures are not checked against those on file, Greenberger points out.
A member of the Maryland Commission on Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence, Greenberger advocates dropping the current plan and going old-school — that is, mailing absentee ballots to "brick and mortar addresses."
The other major concern was the potential for fraud in online registration.
The three experts who wrote to the board about this in 2012 were David Jefferson, a computer scientist based at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California; J. Alex Halderman, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan; and Barbara Simons, a retired IBM computer scientist and an expert on electronic voting.
They are part of network of vigilant computer security experts who independently assess state elections systems and report their concerns.
"We have identified severe security vulnerabilities in Maryland's online voter registration system," Jefferson and his colleagues wrote state elections officials in September 2012. "These problems leave the system open to large-scale, automated fraud, and make the Maryland system among the most vulnerable of all the states' new online voter registration systems."
The letter said, in boldface: "Given the grave potential for harm, we urge the State of Maryland to take immediate defensive steps to safeguard the online voter registration system or else shut down the system."
That statement was reiterated in a follow-up letter last February.
In an interview Tuesday, Jefferson said he and his colleagues have never received a response.
For its part, the elections board says the system has been adequately tested by an independent consultant who found it to be secure. Teams of testers tried to hack into the system but couldn't, says Nikki Charlson, deputy administrator of the board. And, she says, there are additional measures in place to alert officials to any unusual transactions during the three-week absentee voting period.
Del. Jon Cardin, a candidate for attorney general in the June primary, serves as chairman of a House of Delegates subcommittee on election laws. He is well aware of the concerns that were raised about the new absentee system when the General Assembly considered and approved it last year. On balance, he says, the legislative mandate to make voter access as convenient as possible outweighed the security concerns. He says the system will continue to be scrutinized for any irregularities.
OK, I guess we'll see.
Here's hoping, for the sake of our precious democracy, this works better than the state's health insurance exchange.