State Roundup: Delay likely for mail-in vote counting; localities prep to ensure abortion access; no more public school seclusion rooms

State Roundup: Delay likely for mail-in vote counting; localities prep to ensure abortion access; no more public school seclusion rooms

A voter drops off a ballot in the drop box outside the Howard County Board of Elections office in Columbia in 2020. Elections officials say there won't be early counting of mail-in votes in this 2022 primary, delaying outcomes of close races. photo by Len Lazarick.

DELAY IN MAIL-IN VOTE COUNTING DRAWS CONCERN: Maryland voters may have to wait up to 10 days to learn which candidates won close 2022 primary races. Vetoed legislation coupled with a decision by the Maryland State Board of Elections means there will likely be no early counting of hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots. The delay has some county officials worried. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.

  • Early voting for Maryland’s gubernatorial primary begins next Thursday. But some voters have already cast ballots through mail-in voting. In Baltimore County, Elections Director Ruie Lavoie said there is round-the-clock video surveillance of the county’s 35 drop boxes and police officers will be visiting each location during the day. None of the boxes was tampered with two years ago, she said. John Lee/WYPR-FM.

LOCALITIES PREP TO ENSURE ABORTION ACCESS: With abortion still legal in the District, Virginia and Maryland, the mostly blue region is preparing for the possibility of more people coming to seek abortions who live in states where “trigger laws” banning the procedure went into effect after the Supreme Court ruling. Some localities are relaxing zoning requirements for new abortion clinics; some are offering grants to facilities likely to be inundated with out-of-state patients. Antonio Olivo, Michael Brice-Saddler and Teo Armus/The Washington Post.

  • Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and others in county government continue to worry about the implications of restricted access to reproductive health services in many states following last week’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. Dan Schere/Bethesda Beat.

PUBLIC SCHOOL SECLUSION ROOMS NOW CLOSED: Every day, Maryland schools lock up students for misbehaving, often keeping them in closet-sized, padded rooms monitored by an adult watching through a small window or by video camera. Sometimes the children are kindergarteners. And sometimes, those children try to harm themselves inside. This long-standing practice of seclusion will be banned in the state’s public schools when a new state law takes effect on Friday. The practice will still be allowed in private schools funded with public tax dollars. Liz Bowie/Baltimore Banner.


PROFILE: JON BARON: Jon Baron has done his homework. During a two-hour candidate forum in June, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate supported each of his answers to the moderator’s questions with statistics and scientifically-proven research. He told the near-full auditorium of senior citizens at a retirement village in Silver Spring that he was offering Maryland a “fundamentally different approach” to governing. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

PROFILE: ASHWANI JAIN: Ashwani Jain logs a lot of hours in his Jeep Wrangler. Every day since August of last year, the 32-year-old drives to a different Maryland county, sets up shop in a park and holds meet-and-greets in his car. The grassroots candidate knows he doesn’t benefit from the same name recognition as most of the other eight Democrats running in Maryland’s gubernatorial primary election, but he’s optimistic that his extensive outreach may move the needle. Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner.

FRANCHOT SAYS NOT TO RADIO DEBATE: Comptroller Peter Franchot has declined an opportunity to debate his main rivals in the Democratic gubernatorial primary — a decision that was immediately condemned by opposition campaigns. Franchot, former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez and former non-profit CEO Wes Moore have all been invited to appear on the WYPR Radio program Midday on Friday. The trio have been the top-polling candidates for some time, consistently attracting more support than the six others seeking the nomination. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

POLITICAL NOTES: ELRICH TARGETED; HOGAN BACKS FOLDI: A billionaire cofounder of Facebook has invested $500,000 in a new political action committee set up to defeat Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich in the July 19 Democratic primary — and a top national Democratic strategist who lives in the county is heading the effort. Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. (R) endorsed Matthew Foldi in the 6th District congressional race on Wednesday. Foldi, 25, is in a six-way primary for the Republican nomination, which includes Del. Neil Parrott (R-Washington), who was the 2020 GOP nominee in the race. Josh Kurtz and Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.

  • Montgomery County residents Eric Saul and Adam Jentleson registered the Affordable Maryland PAC to defeat Elrich last week, motivated, they said, by rising home prices that determine who can afford to live in a place they say has allowed them to live the “American Dream.” Karina Elwood/The Washington Post.

NATIONAL PAC ANTI-McMILLAN MAILERS ROIL ARUNDEL EXEC RACE: A series of negative political mailers targeting Republican county executive candidate Herb McMillan has roiled Anne Arundel County politics less than a month before the July 19 primary election. The mailers blamed McMillan for the national spike in gas prices, accused him of pushing for mandatory vaccines for kids and criticized him for not supporting former President Donald Trump – all things McMillan said are “outrageously false.” Dana Munro and Dan Belson/The Capital Gazette.

PROTECTIVE ORDER GRANTED TO WIFE OF FORMER DEL. SAQIB ALI: A temporary protective order has been granted against former state Del. Saqib Ali of Montgomery County, who this year is running in the Democratic primary for District 15 delegate. The petition for the protective order and a divorce complaint, filed Friday and Monday respectively, accuse Ali, 47, of abusing his wife and their two teenage children. The new filings come about a month after Ali’s wife requested several other temporary protective orders. Dan Schere/Bethesda Beat.

4 MARYLAND HBCUs GET $1M EACH IN SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS: Maryland’s four HBCU’s will receive a total of $4 million in scholarships – $1 million each — in honor of Ozzie Newsome,  Baltimore Ravens’ longtime personnel executive and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Deborah Bailey/The Afro.

GUN LAWS LIKELY TO CHANGE: Maryland will have to change its conceal carry gun laws following a recent Supreme Court ruling on New York’s law, according to some gun shop owners. Maryland has a similar law, which puts tight restrictions on who can be approved to carry a firearm outside his or her home for self defense. Mel Adam, owner of Tactical Shepherd in Rising Sun, said the SCOTUS ruling will force Maryland to change its gun laws. Jane Bellmyer/The Cecil Whig.

WHO WILL CONTROL THE ANGELOS EMPIRE? It is an empire built piece by piece, but reaching expansively across the Baltimore area and beyond — through real estate that includes a downtown landmark and a renowned horse farm, to an aggressive law firm that won billions of dollars for workers harmed by asbestos and smokers sickened by tobacco, and of course, wrapping in the Orioles, whose glories and struggles define their proud and scrappy hometown. But it was solely run by one person – Peter Angelos, The Angelos empire has had but one emperor, observers say, making it hard to envision the passing down of the crown. Jean Marbella/The Baltimore Sun.

B’MORE ENDS USE OF PESTICIDES: Toxic chemicals won’t be sprayed in city parks across Baltimore to kill weeds anymore starting on July 1. In October 2020, Baltimore City Council approved a new ordinance banning pesticides, insecticides and herbicides with chlorpyrifos, neonicotinoids and glyphosate on public and private properties. Kristen Mosbrucker/WYPR-FM

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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