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Maryland: Gov. O'Malley Signs Paper Records Bill Into Law PDF  | Print |  Email
By Maryland Election Integrity Coalition   
May 17, 2007
Implementation next key step for securing Maryland’s elections

The Maryland Election Integrity Coalition (MD-EIC) applauded Gov. O’Malley today for signing SB 392 and putting Maryland on track to enacting meaningful voting system reform in time for the 2010 election.

Delegate Sheila E. Hixson, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee and sponsor of this voting proposal for the last two years said, ”Counting of votes is a public trust. I am delighted that we can finally have the most secure voting system possible. We must also recognize Maryland’s organizations such as MD-EIC for their advocacy and support for the passage of this bill.”

“We are pleased that the legislature and Gov. O’Malley have taken this important step toward securing Maryland’s elections,” said John Schneider, a spokesperson for MD-EIC.

The new law directs the State Board of Elections to promulgate regulations for a new voting system that would create a durable paper record.  It would allow several voting systems, including optical scan, ballot marking devices, and absentee ballots. The bill would require the standards to be met starting with the 2010 election; but is contingent on funding prior to FY09.

“We look forward to working with the state Board of Elections to get the best system in place for Maryland,” said MD-EIC spokesperson Johanna Neumann of Maryland PIRG.

The Maryland Election Integrity Coalition’s research indicates that optical scan technology is the most secure and cost-effective election system when coupled with an audit provision.  An audit verifies the election results by comparing a random sample of paper ballots with the results of the optical scanner to ensure that computerized tabulation systems functioned properly.

“Maryland Election Integrity Coalition was formed to secure passage of verifiable voting in the 2007 Legislative Session,” said Coalition administrator, Mary Howe Kiraly. “We are pleased with this outcome.  We look forward to working with the administration, the legislature, and the State Board of Elections to protect the integrity of our elections.”
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