xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Ready among Maryland Senate Republicans proposing election safeguards

Maryland’s Senate Republican Caucus presented a legislative package Thursday that they said “would ensure Maryland’s election integrity,” according to a news release.

State Sen. Justin Ready, who represents Carroll County, brought up election integrity last month, prior to the opening of the legislative session as one of the key areas he hoped to address.

Advertisement

“There are clearly trust issues with our elections,” Ready is quoted as saying in the release. “One of the most straightforward and common-sense ways to ensure fair, secure elections is for Maryland to join the vast majority of other states in requiring identification to vote.

“We require identification to rent a hotel room, apply for a job, enter state government buildings, or even to purchase certain types of medication. This proposal lays out several forms of identification that can be used to add a layer of assurance at the polls that people are who they say they are.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

Concerns about election security have been stoked by former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter fraud in the November election. Days after the election, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he had not seen any evidence of voter fraud.

The Maryland Senate Republican Caucus proposal would:

  • Require voters to present identification at the polls to verify their name and mailing address with an election judge.
  • Make accepted forms of ID include a current, government-issued photo ID, utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or any other recent government document that shows the voter’s name and address, voter notification card or sample ballot.
  • Make it so if a voter cannot supply any accepted form of identification, or has a recent address change, they may vote a provisional ballot. At no point will an individual’s right to vote be denied.
  • Make voting with a false form of identification grounds for prosecution for voter fraud.

Additionally, the legislation would address absentee voting and voter agents; strengthen the punishment for those convicted of voter fraud, voter intimidation, voter suppression and voter impersonation; and make changes to mail-in voting, including developing “a robust, private and secure, absentee (mail-in) ballot tracking system,” according to the release.

Senate Minority Leader Bryan Simonaire said via the release: “Whether you believe there was minuscule or massive amounts of voter fraud, the 2020 elections have undeniably shaken the public’s confidence in Maryland’s election process.

Advertisement

“Make no mistake, we support and encourage every Marylander to exercise their right to vote, but before we consider expanding mail-in voting programs and making pandemic-year measures permanent, we must also put in the appropriate safeguards. Expanding voter access and protecting the integrity of our elections are intricately intertwined and are not mutually exclusive issues,” Simonaire continued.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement