ACTION ALERT ON ELECTION SECURITY
|All citizens must have equal access to the ballot. But we face a serious threat of attacks on our election machinery by domestic or foreign interests – whether they take the form of voter suppression, hacking election machines, or rigging the tally of votes cast. We know that attackers have tried to use the Internet to swing our elections. Cybersecurity experts agree that election machinery should NOT be connected. Now the federal Election Assistance Commission is considering guidelines that could give states an incentive to keep voting machinery off the Internet.
Please click the Take Action button below and send an important message to the Election Assistance Commission.
REPORT FROM ANNAPOLIS
On May 1, Del. Adrienne Jones, (D10, Baltimore County) was unanimously elected Speaker of the House of Delegates. Del. Jones has co-sponsored the Democracy Amendment Resolution in the past three legislative sessions and took our “Pledge to Get $$$ Out,” during the 2018 election campaign.
Get Money Out supported dozens of bills during the General Assembly session. Below we report the fate of a selected few.
|GMOM supported several bills on redistricting, all of which failed||Most were sponsored by Republicans||These bills would have limited gerrymandering by setting up fairer rules for redistricting or establishing an independent commission to draw district lines.
In the House, all were voted down by the Rules Committee. In the Senate EHE Committee, all died from lack of action.
|HB 878 – passed, awaiting Governor’s signature||Del. Kaiser||Increases penalties for campaign finance entities that fail to file required financial reports. A candidate who fails to file a report will not appear on the ballot.|
|SB 123 – passed, awaiting Governor’s signature||Sen. Pinsky||Allows staff of the State Board of Elections to investigate whether candidates are coordinating with independent spending entities and allows staff to issue subpoenas.|
|HB 286 and SB 449 -passed, awaiting Governor’s signature||Del. Reznik and Sen. Pinsky||These identical bills allow an individual to register and vote on election day at a polling place in the individual’s county of residence. They implement a Maryland Constitutional Amendment approved by the voters in 2018.|
The Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee voted UNFAVORABLE on SJ 1 on March 8. This action killed the Democracy Amendment Resolution for 2019. The following senators voted UNFAVORABLE: Kagan, Lam, Bailey, Carozza, Ellis, and Patterson.
We have activated 8,200 citizens over a six-year period, and our national ally, Wolf-PAC, did a particularly great job of mobilizing new supporters and volunteers. We have great citizen turnout in Annapolis. But active and multi-pronged opposition from unions such as SEIU and AFSCME and from “good-government” groups such as ACLU, Common Cause, and League of Women Voters proved to be more persuasive with new members of the Committee than our grassroots effort. Among the new members, only Sen. Jason Gallion (D35, Harford County) voted in favor of SJ 1.
We believe that a US Constitutional Amendment is essential because the Supreme Court values the rights of wealthy donors to buy influence more than it values the right of the People to be fairly represented. Opposition to the Democracy Amendment Resolution focuses on fearful scenarios. We believe the Article V strategy helps pressure the Congress and mobilizes engaged citizens. We will re-double our efforts to engage the public as well as leadership of the opposing groups in the spirit that two paths to a Democracy Amendment are better than one.
Members of the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee
1st row: Pinsky, D22, Chair, Nathan-Pulliam, D44, V.Chair; Young, D3; Simonaire, D31; Gallion, D35.
2nd row – Kagan, D17; Lam, D12; Bailey, D29; Carozza, D38; Ellis, D28; Patterson, D26.
GMOM Teleconference Monday, May 6, 8:30 pm, using our new conference facility:
This meeting will continue our focus on action steps and capacity building.