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Legislature opening door to voter fraud

While other state legislatures are enacting laws to close loopholes against election fraud, Maryland is moving in the opposite direction.

The Democrat-dominated Maryland legislature has passed three bills over the Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich's vetoes, which make the possibility of fraud much more likely. These new laws include the right to cast an absentee ballot for just about any reason. A second bill permits voters to cast ballots anywhere in Maryland using a provisional ballot. One can only imagine the potential for fraud this could cause by allowing someone to cast multiple ballots in different jurisdictions.

Indeed, a bipartisan commission that looked at the election laws reported that "a provisional ballot could be cast successfully in multiple counties and not be detected until after the votes are certified."

However, perhaps the most troubling bill will require each county to permit voting up to five days before the election. Besides the possibility of fraud, no money was approved to pay for early voting.

The legislature has passed these laws at a time when other states are moving to strengthen their laws against election fraud. Georgia recently enacted legislation that requires all voters to display a photo ID before casting ballots.

Now the Democrats in the Maryland legislature want to enact another ill-conceived bill, one that permits convicted felons to vote. According to a legislative analyst, the voting rights of approximately 150,000 convicted felons would be restored.

Interestingly, judges will be on the ballot throughout Maryland in the upcoming election, including Harford Circuit Court Judge Stephen Waldron. If the voting rights of convicted felons are restored, a real danger is that it would create an entire class of voters who are pre-disposed against the sitting judges.

Is it any wonder why a recent Wall Street Journal editorial labeled the Maryland General Assembly the worst legislature in America?

Bill Christoforo

The writer is chairman of the Republican Central Committee of Harford County.

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