When the President delivered his State of the Union last week, he demonstrated bold leadership on finding new and innovative ways to cut waste, increase efficiencies, improve education from Pre-School to higher education, keep families safe, and create jobs. The vision the President laid out will move our nation forward. Here in Maryland, we are already working towards stronger families, stronger communities, and a stronger America.
Protecting Voting Rights
Here’s what President Obama said:
“We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes our most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote. When any Americans – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals.”
And here’s what we’re doing and have done in Maryland:
In 2010, Maryland allowed early voting for the first time. Since then, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of Marylanders taking advantage of the process. In the 2012 election, more than 16% of Marylanders voted early. However, because of its popularity, many voters, particularly in larger jurisdictions, experienced long lines.
We need to do everything we can to improve access to voting and encourage Marylanders to exercise their most fundamental right. Here’s what we’ve done and are doing:
(1) In 2012, the State Board of Elections, for the first time ever, allowed Marylanders to register to vote and change their address online. During this past election, over 105,000 Marylanders used the online system.
(2) This session, we’re working to improve access to voting by:
- Expanding early voting sites and hours. Early voting will be extended by 2 days and 2 hours for Presidential elections and by 2 days for every other election.
- Allowing for same day voter registration during the early voting period. This means that during the early voting period, voters will be able to register and vote at the same time.
Click this link to learn more about our efforts to expand access to voting.
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