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In a time when we keep hearing about GOP efforts to limit voting, it is refreshing to hear the proposal of Maryland Governor O'Malley to make voting more accessible.  

O'Malley's office said the administration is trying to reverse a trend in other states of limiting voter turnout through such measures as stricter voter identification rules.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/...

According to The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, Governor O'Malley is proposing increasing the number of early voting days from six to eight, increasing the number of early voting locations in five Maryland Counties, increasing the hours per day for early voting during Presidential elections, and allowing same day registration during early voting.  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

http://www.baltimoresun.com/...

The proposal is part of the legislative package proposed by Governor O'Malley.  It will need to be voted on by the Maryland legislature.

One reason why Governor O'Malley proposed the legislation was because of the long lines at Maryland early voting locations during the Presidential election.  This was well reported in the local media at that time.  

Dedicated voters in Prince George’s County were put to the test during early voting with lines that stretched outside of polling places and sometimes down the street. Jeronn Russell told News4 she waited four hours to vote.

“If we are having three- and four-hour waits during the early vote period, what does that translate to on Nov. 6?” Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee Terry Speigner asked.

He’s worried that some voters may get frustrated, leave and not go back to vote.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/...

Not surprisingly, Republicans in Maryland are opposed to the early voting expansion.

David Ferguson, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, said that same-day registration would invite voter fraud and more broadly questioned the governor’s motivations . . .

[And]  Del. Kathy Afzali (R-Frederick) questioned the need for O’Malley’s plan.“I think more early voting is very unnecessary,” said Afzali, who serves on an election law subcommittee in the House. “It will cost more money.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/martin-omalley-to-propose-expanding-early-voting-in-maryland/2013/01/17/41022cec-60f5-11e2-a389-ee565c81c565_story.html

Thank you Governor O'Malley for trying to do the right thing for the citizens of Maryland.  

Originally posted to night cat on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:55 PM PST.

Also republished by Maryland Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I do expect that the proposal will pass (5+ / 0-)

    the democrats have a majority in both the Maryland House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate.  

  •  Yeah the Republican Party is pretty (8+ / 0-)

    weak here. Thank God. O'Malley is also going for a repeal of the death penalty.

    I'll work to help him on both early voting and death penalty repeal votes.

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:26:38 PM PST

    •  When I read diaries about what is going on (7+ / 0-)

      in other states, I am glad that I live in Maryland where the Republican party has very little influence.  

      I hope the death penalty repeal makes it this year also.  

    •  O'Malley better watch out (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JR, night cat, LordMike, Lujane, vcmvo2, progresso

      or people may start looking to him as presidential material.

      Severely Socialist

      by ichibon on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:37:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm absolutely convinced he should run. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, dharmafarmer, vcmvo2

        And I would gladly work for his campaign. I don't know if people outside Maryland realize just how good at administering the state he's been. Our schools are outstanding, our social policy is constantly progressing, and our unemployment rate is below the national average.

        And it's worth remembering that he's term-limited and (unfortunately) can't run for re-election in 2014. That means either the President gives him a well deserved Cabinet post, or he makes him head of the DNC (also well deserved), or O'Malley gets two free years to get his operation in New Hampshire and Iowa up and running.

        As soon as he changes the logo of his PAC to something that looks less like Cthulhu, we'll know the game is on.

        "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

        by JR on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:04:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  O'Malley's inexplicapable negatives. (0+ / 0-)

          I have Dem friends who live in Baltimore who hate O'Malley, but when I ask why, they can't give a cogent reason beyond personal dislike and nonspecific "sleaziness". Of one couple, one would stay home, the other may cast a very reluctant vote based on any R being worse.

          I don't understand this.

          I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

          by labradog on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:07:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  eh (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sharon Wraight

            There are always naysayers. But O'Malley is not sleazy. He kicked out a very unpopular Republican gov, Bob Ehrlich. He initially was a Hillary supporter, so maybe they resent him for that? But sleazy? Nope.

            He's taken on the energy companies with their outrageous rate hikes. He got our civil unions bill passed, has tried once on death penalty repeal and is going back for it again. He fights to protect choice. He's got a strong gun control package ready to go.

            So, I don't know what their problem is. Yeah he's ambitious, so what?

            In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

            by vcmvo2 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:57:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's weird. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2

              They'd both vote for Hilary as eagerly as they did for O.
              He'd never vote for O'Malley in a primary, but would do so grudgingly in the general.

              I wish I knew the root of their gripe, but they've been unable to offer anything but generalizations.

              I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

              by labradog on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:46:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well I'm glad that if they (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                labradog, Sharon Wraight

                had to they'd eventually vote for him. Because he is so much better, than for instance, Andrew Cuomo - but we'll see when we get there I suppose.

                I'm just relieved that Obama is getting his second term. :)

                In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

                by vcmvo2 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:57:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  I think that 2016 has a little to do.... (0+ / 0-)

          with this bill.

          The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes. Aristotle

          by progresso on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:55:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, I agree. (0+ / 0-)

            That's kind of my point: he's actually been a really really good governor. Whether there's ambition behind him doing a great job or he just sees it as his responsibility is not very important from my perspective. If the way he chooses to further his ambition (if that's what's happening here) is by working for smart, progressive legislation, then I'm certainly not going to complain. Either way, he's one of the best executives in the country.

            "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

            by JR on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:28:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  same old yapping points, but ... (0+ / 0-)
    David Ferguson, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, said that same-day registration would invite voter fraud and more broadly questioned the governor’s motivations . . .

    [And]  Del. Kathy Afzali (R-Frederick) questioned the need for O’Malley’s plan.“I think more early voting is very unnecessary,” said Afzali, who serves on an election law subcommittee in the House. “It will cost more money.”

    ... Thanks to Wendy Rosen, the Democrats here are saddled with one of the few verifiable cases of voter fraud in the country.

    It doesn't mean these are bad ideas, but it does mean more noise and smoke.

    On the minus side, the Eastern Shore is O'Malleymandered into a Republican vote vortex, meaning that many of us are stuck with Andy Harris, right wing bagster.

    And also on the minus side, the state is a Democratic party machine-run operation. That means that good ideas from a gov like O'Malley don't always have an uphill battle.

    But it also means there are competing agendas, often invisible to citizens, around which revolve party leaders.

    Mike Miller and Mike Busch (who run the legislature) and a cadre of lobbyists can often clog up the legislative process where otherwise good ideas can languish for years over plain old horse trading rather than the merits of the bills.

    Add to that a 90 day legislative session (clown car gummint with 2000 bills) and a committee system that makes chairmen into potentates and you have something that barely escapes gridlock.

    To wit, the TWO special sessions last year, at which lobbying money flowed like  wine.

    Meanwhile Baltimore remains corrupt, along with Prince George's County and, apparently, Anne Arundel County.

    And (my personal beef and point of interest) lousy transparency laws which government agencies routinely abuse.

    So Marty may not be responsible for this entirely, but it is the environment he grew up in.

    So the progressive agenda is often lost in the sauce.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:02:52 AM PST

    •  You'd think that Harris telling his constituents (0+ / 0-)

      to drop dead if they suffered property loss from Sandy would ensure his defeat, but I guess I'm being too logical.

      For some history, Ehrich as governor vetoed early voting, claiming it would invite fraud, but the legislature, which was 2/3 Democratic in each house, overrode his veto.  The Republicans took it to court, and the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that early voting was a violation of the Maryland constitution, which provided for voting the first Tuesday of November and no other day.  So the legislature, with O'Mally now as governor, reenacted early voting as a constitutional amendment, which was approved by the voters in 2008.  So Republican opposition to early voting is nothing new.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

      by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:33:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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