A Democratic candidate seeking public campaign financing in Montgomery’s most competitive County Council District said he will use Crowdpac, an Internet-based crowdfunding platform that draws donors from across the country, to raise money for his campaign. Montgomery’s public campaign finance laws prohibit candidates from accepting campaign contributions from PACs or organized political committees. Fundraising through Crowdpac, however, is permitted, according to the State Board of Elections.
The Montgomery County Council approved an $11 million public campaign financing fund — the first in Maryland — for the 2018 elections when it adopted the county’s $5.4 billion budget for fiscal 2018 last Thursday. Four of the nine councilmembers have already filed to use the fund they set up.
There were long lines at some polling places on Election Day, and hundreds of voters waited for hours, particularly in Baltimore County. But there is no evidence of a partisan conspiracy, as some Republicans believed, just a shortage of scanners.
Democratic Rep. John Delaney struck a bipartisan tone Tuesday evening as he thanked volunteers, supporters and family for helping him win a third term in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District. Delaney handily defeated Republican candidate Amie Hoeber 55% to 41%. Delaney spent $1.4 million on the race, and Hoeber spent close to $1 million, plus independent spending by a super PAC funded by her husband.
A decision by Montgomery County to re-scan misplaced absentee ballots and recertify the April 26 primary election results without any public oversight, following advice from state election officials, is now raising concerns about how the process was handled. Voting advocates are concerned that Montgomery changed and then officially recertified election results for the April 26 primary election — without notifying all members of the local board responsible for certifying elections, or going through a public process.
Baltimore’s troubled primary election could be blamed on delayed training materials for Maryland’s new paper ballot system and repeated revisions to a training manual for election judges. But it doesn’t explain why major voting irregularities took place in only one of Maryland’s 24 voting jurisdictions, while the rest of the state experienced nominal problems.
Maryland public school systems will weigh this summer whether to add more standardized testing for 11th grade students in an effort to conform to a new state law that kicks in during the 2015-2016 academic year.
They face a choice of whether to add two Common Core-aligned tests to assess college and career readiness, or use scores from one of several already established college entrance exams like the SAT. It’s also possible students who take a college placement exam could be exempt from taking PARCC in school systems who elect to use it.
Lawmakers charged with making policy recommendations following the police custody death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray peppered state officials responsible for police hiring and training standards with questions about racial diversity at their first work session Monday.
“Obviously we’re missing something in the racial and ethnic diversity training on top of the excessive force training,” remarked Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D, Baltimore City.
The ranking Republican on the Maryland State Board of Elections is calling for more transparency when staff investigates campaign finance violations that have the potential to be referred to the State Prosecutor’s Office.
In March state election staff cleared former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s campaign for alleged campaign finance coordination during the 2014 gubernatorial primary election, but board members are still waiting for written documentation that supports the finding.
Tens of thousands of Democratic primary votes are up for grabs in the Anne Arundel portion of Maryland’s 4th Congressional District race. But it is up for debate whether those votes will play a major role in the outcome of the primary election next year.