Protecting your vote against the MVA pothole

Here's your Election Day version of the Weekly Memo -- the second one sent this unusual week. Watch our PM BlogSpace this week for calendar updates once the Primary Day rush is over -- political life will go on after June 26, and you'll need to know about it. Today: Vote, and mind the pothole (see below).


 

Progressive Maryland Primary Election Weekly Memo #2 Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Today, June 26, is 2018 Primary Day.

As Marylanders – including maybe you and yours – hit the polling places for real today, the greatest danger has stopped being that you won’t inform yourself about the progressive choices available on the ballot. And how to plan your day to be sure you vote.

Nope. The first danger is that you may be one of the 80,000 or so – yes, 80,000 or so, four times as many as first identified – who may have to cast provisional ballots at polling places across the state because of an election glitch.

Your likelihood of being one of those voters hangs on whether you had a transaction with the state Motor Vehicle Administration in the last year or so during which you updated your status as a voter – changed your address or your party registration. Many of those transactions never made it to the state Board of Elections, so your name may not be on the list at your new polling place. You’ll have to fill out a provisional ballot.

What do do? Bill Zorzi, writing in Maryland Matters, has this roundup:

“The State Board of Elections, an agency independent of the executive branch, has sent emails to those affected voters whose email addresses are on file with the MVA -- nearly 74,000 of the roughly 80,000 residents who had attempted to change their registration using the MVA kiosks or website, officials said.

 “Election officials said earlier that affected voters should first verify their voter registration information using the State Board of Elections website (https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch).

 “If the voter’s current address is not there, the voter can use the election board’s polling place locator (https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/PollingPlaceSearch) to find the correct voting location for his or her new address, officials said.

 “Affected voters with questions about their registrations and what to expect on election day should call the State Board of Elections, 1-800-222-8683, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, election day, or e-mail info.SBE@maryland.gov for help.

 “Election officials also said there would be trained poll workers to answer questions and guide voters through the provisional voting process.

 “The Maryland Democratic Party also is making lawyers available to voters who have difficulty accessing their ballot. If that is the case, Kathleen A. Matthews, the state party chairwoman, urged voters to “call the party’s Voter Protection Hotline at 1-888-678-8683 to speak with one of the party’s experienced voter protection attorneys.”

 “Everything you wanted to know about provisional ballots and voting is here, on the State Board of Elections website:

https://elections.maryland.gov/voting/provisional_voting.html

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Provisional ballots may turn out to be the key in some races, so conclusive victory parties may have to wait if things are close … by state law as of today, provisional ballots cannot be counted until July 5.


Baltimore comrades, Check in on Max Obuszewski’s highly useful calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

To keep up with progressive events in and around DC consult the invaluable calendar at the Washington Peace Center, http://washingtonpeacecenter.org/alerts


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OUR BLOG POSTS IN THE PAST WEEK

Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our blogs for the previous week are shown below, but if you want a handy way to keep track – and never miss a blog post – you can sign up to get this Weekly Memo by email. Remember this is your blogspace and your participation is heartily invited. See something going on that you don’t like – or that you do like and hope to see more of? Send us your thoughts; submit to the moderator at woodlanham@gmail.com

We recently published these blog posts:

 

June 24, 2018 Making your plan to cast a vote on Tuesday

Readers will see two Memos this week. Today’s is all about elections. On Tuesday about midday you’ll get one that’s more like what you are used to seeing Monday, with calendar items and brief reports.


This one is about Tuesday’s Primary Election.

But you already voted in Early Voting? Awesome. Now you have time to get out the vote for your neighbors -- all over the state.

June 22, 2018 We need a State's Attorney for the people

"I support Senator Victor Ramirez," activist Qiana Johnson writes, "because he understands that charges are often based on complex laws—and enforced by long mandatory minimum prison sentences—creating strong incentives for defendants to capitulate to lesser charges, perhaps even to crimes they did not commit."

June 21, 2018 How we can transform our communities now

Montgomery County, seen from the outside, may seem an idyllic collection of affluent suburbs and single-family homes: a place where you can live your American Dream. But when you start knocking on doors, you learn there’s a lot more to who we are. My place, my status in this diverse county "qualifies me to understand the real challenges families face, and to find real solutions that meet their needs," Council at-Large candidate Brandy Brooks says.

June 20, 2018 Ramirez: positive change in the State's Attorney's office

Victor Ramirez will not only work diligently to decrease the School-to-Prison pipeline within our county, but will also partner with various religious organizations, community groups, nonprofits, law enforcement and government agencies for the benefit of our young people, says educator Janna Parker.

June 19, 2018 Ben Jealous -- the governor we need

"What could a governor do if he’s willing to actually build coalitions and fight for our families, healthcare, schools, economy, transportation, and a fair justice system?" A progressive governor -- Ben Jealous -- could accomplish what Maryland’s resilient but underserved people want and deserve, says Anne Arundel activist Michelle Williams.

June 18, 2018 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, June 18-25 2018

It's GET OUT THE VOTE TIME.
Early voting is on from now till Thursday (June 21) and the Primary Election is Tuesday, June 26. Our candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor is Ben Jealous, who will appear tonight (Monday, June 18) with Bernie Sanders in Silver Spring (SS Civic Center, doors open 6:30). Why is this election important? Ben says “It's time to dream big again. And when we have leaders in D.C. who can't get the job done, it's time to get it done here at home."


>>REMEMBER – these blog posts are expressions of political opinion from our wide-ranging membership and circle of allies. They are not expressions of opinion by Progressive Maryland. Don’t be surprised if they sometimes vary in their political content. You might even disagree with them – a good reason to contribute a blog of your own. Send it to the moderator, Woody Woodruff, at woodlanham@gmail.com.

>>Keeping up with the blogs is easier with the index. The blogs published in the PM BlogSpace from June 2015 through December 2016 are all available with descriptions and links here. You can follow blogs for 2017-18 starting from here