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New Maryland Laws Take Effect on October 1, 2015 – Spotlight on the Election Administration

Posted by Chi Song on September 29, 2015

Untitled drawing (1)New Maryland laws take effect on October 1, 2015!  We will be publishing a series of posts highlighting a few of the newly enacted laws.  This series is just a small sampling of the new laws enacted by the 2015 Legislative Session.  To read about more laws resulting from the 2015 session, see the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2015 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) of the General Assembly of Maryland. For a full listing of new laws effective October 1, 2015, check out this publication from DLS.

Senate Bill 204 (Chapter 332)/ House Bill 396  – The date of the presidential primary election is now the fourth Tuesday in April, which would avoid the need to conduct the 2016 early voting on Easter Sunday. In addition, there are changes to various administrative procedures and deadlines as well as the elimination of the requirement for “certain campaign finance entities to file a campaign finance report on the third Tuesday in April in a presidential election year.” You can learn more about this new law, including its legislative history, here.

House Bill 284 (Chapter 82) – An election director of the local board of elections must, within 10 business days, “determine whether a summary of local legislation contained in a petition is legally sufficient” prior to circulating the petition for signatures. The intent is to prevent situations where signatures on a petition must be discarded due to a determination, after the collection of signatures, that the summary of local legislation was not legally sufficient. You can learn more about this new law, including its legislative history, here.

Senate Bill 5 (Chapter 318) – The canvass of votes cast during early voting must be open to public observation, and “a board of canvassers and the staff of a local board may be observed as they complete each part of the canvass by certain authorized observers and any other individuals who wish to be present.” You can learn more about this new law, including its legislative history, here.

Note that all quotations, unless noted otherwise, are attributable to the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2015 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services of the General Assembly of Maryland, which is available online at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs/LegisLegal/2015rs-90-day-report.pdf.

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