UNION, DEMS SAY HOGAN AIDED LOSS OF SEASONED WORKERS IN STATE AGENCIES: Maryland state agencies are awash in vacancies, losing seasoned workers and struggling to perform core functions, according to union leaders, members of the General Assembly and Attorney General Brian Frosh. Critics maintain that Gov. Larry Hogan has been at best indifferent to the hollowing out of state government and at worst has precipitated the loss in personnel by failing to offer more competitive salaries and benefits. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.
EARLY PRIMARY VOTING BEGINS: Voters began heading into polling places across Maryland on Thursday for the first of seven days of early voting in this year’s primary election. Statewide, competitive races for governor, attorney general and comptroller headline the ballots for most voters. None of the three incumbents is running for reelection and large fields of Democrats and Republicans are vying to replace them. Sam Janesch and Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
MAIL-IN BALLOT ISSUES CROPPING UP: Issues with sample and mail-in ballots sent to voters have been cropping up across the state over the past few weeks as election boards adjust to redrawn district maps and a delayed election date. In Montgomery County, 791 residents received two mail-in ballots. In Prince George’s County, about 10,000 voters received incorrect sample ballots. Joe Heim and Daniel Wu/The Washington Post.
- After saying that initial estimates by Baltimore’s election chief were incorrect – and that only 150 city voters, not “a couple of thousand,” were assigned to the wrong district – state officials have now revised their numbers upward. Approximately 750 mail-in ballots were sent out incorrectly in the city, according to State Board of Elections Deputy Administrator Nikki Charlson. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew.
- Alyson McLaughlin, the acting director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said Wednesday that 99,828 voters have been mailed absentee ballots in the county, and 791 voters received the duplicate ballot. Dan Schere/Bethesda Beat.
FREDERICK COUNTY STILL IN NEED OF ELECTION JUDGES: Less than two weeks out from primary election day, Frederick County is still recruiting election judges. Roughly 750 people had signed up to work as election judges at the county’s 63 polling sites as of Wednesday, Frederick County Board of Elections Director Barbara Wagner said. In 2018, nearly 950 election judges helped run the same number of sites. Angela Roberts/The Frederick News Post.
WA CO GEARS UP FOR BIG VOTER TURNOUT: Washington County Board of Elections officials say they’re planning for a big turnout at the polls. Historically, gubernatorial primary elections typically see more than 20% of registered voters going to the polls, according to Barry Jackson, deputy director of the county election board. However, the election board has already received 8,000 requested mail-in ballots. Michael Garcia/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.
FEWER REPUBLICANS REGISTER TO VOTE IN ARUNDEL: As early voting for the midterm elections begins Thursday, data from the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections shows more Democrats and fewer Republicans have registered to vote in the county over the last four years while overall voter registration has increased by about 25,000. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
TWO STATE SENATORS SEEK DEFEATS OF HOUSE TEAM MEMBERS: At least two state senators are actively working to defeat House incumbents in their districts in party primaries, where early voting begins Thursday. In Baltimore City’s District 45, state Sen. Cory McCray (D) has assembled a ticket with two House candidates that pointedly does not include Del. Stephanie Smith (D). And in Montgomery County’s District 39, state Sen. Nancy King (D) and two of the district’s House members are hoping to defeat the other incumbent delegate, Gabriel Acevero (D). Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
WILL FUNDING SOURCES CHANGE EPA STANCE ON CONOWINGO CLEANUP? It has been five months since the Environmental Protection Agency outlined why they had “no confidence” in the Conowingo Dam cleanup plan, and Maryland’s $25 million commitment hopes to change that. The lack of funding sources by all the impacted jurisdictions – District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia – was behind the agency’s doubt in the Conowingo Watershed Implementation Plan. Thus far, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania are the only jurisdictions that highlighted funding that was included in the response to the federal agency. Kristian Jaime/The Salisbury Daily Times.
IN DEM PRIMARY FOR COMPTROLLER: ADAMS VS. LIERMAN: Maryland Democrats will face a choice of who should be the state’s chief tax collector, accountant and bill payer for the first time since 2006, when current Comptroller Peter Franchot knocked off then-incumbent William Donald Schaefer. The Democratic primary pits Tim Adams, Bowie’s first Black mayor and founder of defense contractor Systems Applications and Technology Inc. against Brooke Lierman, an attorney and two-term state delegate from Baltimore City. Jon Meltzer/The Baltimore Banner.
MIZEUR, HARDEN SEEK TO UNSEAT U.S. REP. HARRIS: Congressional District 1 Democratic candidates Heather Mizeur and David Harden answered questions from a moderator and the audience about where they stand on issues prior to the July 19 primary election. They are seeking to oust Republican incumbent Rep. Andy Harris. Mizeur said she has a reputation as a pragmatic consensus builder who knows how to get things done. Harden said democracy is a gift and the U.S. is facing a perfect storm of risk and threats. Christina Aufderheide/The Cecil Whig.
- The two Democratic primary candidates in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District share more in common than their burning desire to unseat Harris. Former Montgomery County Del. Mizeur and career foreign service officer Harden both say they became motivated to run by their outrage over the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
CROWNSVILLE FORMALLY TRANSFERRED TO ARUNDEL: The long-abandoned Crownsville Hospital Center property was transferred from the state of Maryland to Anne Arundel County by the Board of Public Works on Wednesday, enabling the county to start cleaning and renovating the property. All three board members, Gov. Larry Hogan, Treasurer Dereck Davis and Comptroller Peter Franchot, voted for the transfer. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
PG TO REDEVELOP SHUTTERED HOSPITAL: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks Wednesday announced plans for the redevelopment of the county’s former regional hospital site in Cheverly into a $500 million mixed-use area with shops, hotels, grocery stores and more. Jake Shindel/The Daily Record.
VIGNARAJAH ACCUSED OF HARASSING STAFF: Thiru Vignarajah is known for his charisma, intelligence and his plans for many of Baltimore’s problems. But in interviews, 15 former subordinates and colleagues at the city prosecutor’s office and the state attorney general’s office described a man who punished both men and women for perceived disloyalty and humiliated them in front of colleagues. Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.
PROTESTERS GATHER OVER ROE ACTION: About 50 citizens, mostly female, came together in Denton on Sunday evening to peacefully demonstrate against the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade — the landmark case that gave women the right to have an abortion since 1973. They had signs, chanted slogans and ranged in age from six months to 70. Tom McCall/The Easton Star Democrat.
BA CO IG FOUNDS PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT FOR DEVELOPER: Baltimore County’s Inspector General found that influential property developer David Cordish appeared to be given preferential treatment for zoning of a massive tennis barn on his land. The process for building accessory structures outside of zoning rules in the county requires a public hearing before an administrative law judge but emails between county employees and the developer show attempts to circumvent that process. Kristen Mosbrucker/WYPR-FM.