Election gaming

Free and secure elections are the cornerstone of our representative government, and we must be committed to ensuring that every American's voice is heard at the ballot box. I want to inform you of three election bills of concern that further game the system.

HB 627- Election Law - Automatic Voter Registration - State Correctional Facilities: This bill turns Maryland State Correctional Facilities into an automatic voter registration agency to register inmates to vote when released. You read that correctly, inmates, or should I say freshly released.

I offered an amendment that would do the same for the Department of Natural Resources so that automatic voter registration can be offered to anyone purchasing a hunting or fishing license. As the proponents of HB627 stated, the bill intends to ensure that all qualified individuals should be given the means to register to vote; logically, you would think that would extend to hunters and fishermen. To no one's surprise, my amendment was voted down party lines. I voted NO to the bill. https://www.youtube.com/live/Xv6Il6W3VQM?si=WZOjKlh8ucVeyWza&t=2201

HB 700 – Election Law - Election Judges - Revisions: While this bill may appear harmless in its attempt to engage young individuals in the electoral process, it sets a concerning precedent by assigning critical election judge duties to those below voting age. We must examine the prudence of entrusting the sanctity of the electoral process to those who have not reached the maturity and experience required to cast a ballot themselves. The prospect of compensated service for students without parallel emphasis on rigorous training and accountability mechanisms could inadvertently lead to a degradation of the electoral oversight integral to fair elections. The bill also imposes an unfunded mandate on local governments. I voted NO to the bill.

HB 641 – Election Law - Curbside Voting: HB 641 proposes the ability of curbside voting. Without a Voter ID requirement, this bill increases potential voter fraud. I voted NO to the bill.

The integrity of our election system is the thread that binds our democracy together. We must thoroughly evaluate the potential for these bills to undermine our commitment to fair, equitable, and secure elections. We must also be steadfast in ensuring that each measure we contemplate and pass reinforces the pillar of trust between the government and its citizens.

These bills will now be heard in the Senate Education, Energy, and Environment Committee.  https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Committees/Details?cmte=eee

Please contact the committee members to express your concerns.