Maryland State Senate Bill Would Remove Early Voting On Weekends

This morning I was scanning some of the 2019 legislation already submitted and I came across Senate Bill 32 (Election Law – Early Voting Centers – Reduced Days of Operation) and it caught my eye…because it appears to remove the option for early voting on Saturday and Sunday in the future. Here is some of the text of the bill:

Each early voting center shall be open for voting as follows:

16 (1) [beginning] the second Thursday AND SECOND FRIDAY before a

17 primary or general election;

18 (2) THE SECOND MONDAY through the Thursday before [the] A PRIMARY

19 OR GENERAL election; and

The current election law reads:

So best I can tell the purpose of this change is to take away the ability to vote early on Saturday and Sunday in the future.

Now historically the weekends have lower turnout with early voting so maybe the point of this legislation is to save money on days with low turnout by removing them in the future…I am not 100% sure yet.

I can say personally I like early voting on the weekends…the lines are short…voting is quick. I can generally take my daughter with me (and now that she can vote it is even better). I would miss early voting on the weekends…but maybe that is just me.

I have reached out to State Senator Joanne C. Benson (District 24, Prince George’s County) who submitted this legislation for a comment in this article.

I have also reached out to State Senator Clarence Lam (District 12) for comment. Senator Lam sits on the committee (Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs) that this bill has been assigned and represents Howard and Baltimore Counties.

(Note – I reached out to both state senators around 4:30am via email and around 5:20am via Facebook Messenger. If I get any responses…I will update this article).

Stay tuned for updates…as this bill is now on my watch list for 2019.

Scott E

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2 comments

  1. Saturday or Sunday is the only time that many working people can vote. It was so busy on a Saturday that my son couldn’t find a parking space, so he went back on Sunday to vote. If early voting must be limited, take away a week day.

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  2. If this is true, Maryland would be joining the ranks of states engaged in voter suppression. I can’t believe it has a chance of passing

    Like

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