Sunday, August 13, 2006

Maryland Court Rules Early Voting is Unconstitutional

Earlier in July, we reported on the efforts of Maryland Republicans to petition the state to place the early voting bill as a referendum on this year's November ballot. The Republicans led by Marylanders for Fair Elections (MFFE) gained enough signatures to succeed in the referendum but the Maryland Board of Elections mysteriously threw out several thousand signatures, leaving the petition just 137 shy of the required amount. MFFE sued the Board of Elections in an Anne Arundel County court, but the judge threw out their case by invoking an obscure law that required MFFE to petition the court within ten days of the Board's final tally. MFFE appealed this decision to the State Supreme Court, but they upheld the rationale of the lower court without pontificating upon the claim against the Board of Elections itself.

Well, last Friday turned out to be a complete victory for fair election supporters. Instead of attempting to revive the petition against the early voting bill, Maryland Republicans changed tactics and went after the head of the snake. They filled a new suit with a local Court in Anne Arundel County to strike down the law based on the fact that the whole idea of early voting in person is unconstitutional. The unbelievable thing is that the Court concurred with their claim and struck down the bill. This means that we don't need to worry about the legitimacy of the original petition to referendum. The bill is dead on the spot. The Baltimore Examiner reports:
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Ronald Silkworth ruled that the
stateconstitution allows voting only on a single day in November, not for
severaldays. Silkworth also ruled that it would be illegal to permit voters to
castballots outside their home precincts, as allowed under the new early voting
law."The General Assembly exceeded its constitutional authority in enacting
theearly voting statutes," Silkworth wrote in his opinion.
The only hurdle left for Maryland Republicans to overcome is an appeal to the Maryland Court of Appeals filed by MD attorney general Joseph Curran. The Court is expected to rule on this case by the end of August, just two weeks prior to the Maryland primary. The decision will have more of an impact on the general election because if this early voting is not defeated there is no way for the Republicans to overcome the thousands of fraudulent votes that the Democrat low lives will generate prior to election day as a result of this unconstitutional bill. Oh, and keep in mind that there is no requirement to show ID at the polls in Maryland (welcome all illegals!).

Side note: Joseph Curran is the father in law of Baltimore Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Martin O'Maley. Go figure!

2 comments:

Falcon said...

This is an excellent article, RMC. I'll be talking to the group at Hang Right Politics about it. Very well written. Thanks!

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