VOTE COUNTING CAN BEGIN EARLY, JUDGE RULES: The Montgomery County Circuit Court decided Friday to approve the Maryland State Board of Elections’ emergency petition to allow the early processing and counting of mail-in ballots. With the court’s approval, local boards of election can now begin canvassing and counting votes on Oct. 1. Votes will not be reported, only opened and counted. Emmett Gardner of CNS/MarylandReporter.
- The ruling, issued from the bench by Judge James A. Bonifant, sides with the Maryland State Board of Elections, which filed a petition asking for emergency authorization to begin counting earlier than state law allows in hopes of avoiding delays in results like Maryland saw after the July primary. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
- Bonifant said it is reasonable to categorize the expected deluge of mail-in ballots in the general election as an emergency because the State Board of Elections would be unable to process more than 1 million ballots in the 10 days following the election as required by state election law. Ginny Bixby/Bethesda Beat.
- The decision rebuffs a challenge filed by Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox early last week that opposed the request by the state Board of Elections. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
- What you need to know about Maryland’s counting of the November ballots. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
COX, MOORE DIFFER IN APPROACHES TO B’MORE: Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox, a Frederick County resident, pledged on social media this summer to take Baltimore City by receivership and has criticized Mayor Brandon Scott for not being more visible in the city and Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby for not enforcing its laws. Democratic rival Wes Moore. Moore, a resident of the city’s tony Guilford neighborhood, has spoken publicly about trying to harness his relationships to channel more funding to Baltimore and improve cooperation between the city and Annapolis. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
MOORE SUGGESTS YEAR OF SERVICE FOR HIGH SCHOOL GRADS: Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Wes Moore (D) wants to create a new rite of passage to adulthood for high school graduates: a year of public service, an idea that has been bandied about for more than a decade. National nonpartisan groups have formed around it. But political will and the often hefty price tag associated with requiring participation have stalled national efforts. Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.
ADVOCATING FOR ABORTION RIGHTS: “I’m just overall pissed at the Senate,” said Sharon Blugis, an abortion rights advocate in Anne Arundel County and vice president of the District 30 Democratic Club. She blamed Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) for not addressing abortion rights during an election year. She was giving a lesson on the history of abortion in the United States during a club meeting. Because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade this summer, states are empowered to pass anti-abortion laws. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
WRONGFUL PROSECUTIONS HIGHLIGHTED WITH SYED’s RELEASE: With the release of Adnan Syed in Baltimore, attention is focusing on wrongful prosecutions in Maryland and nationwide. At least 3,000 exonerated individuals in the U.S. have spent a combined 25,000 years behind bars due to wrongful prosecution as of March 2022, according to the National Registry of Exonerations, a database compiled by the University of California Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University College of Law. Abby Zimmardi and Shannon Clark of CNS/Maryland Reporter.
TWO NEW STATE LAWS PAVED WAY FOR SYED’s RELEASE: A pair of relatively new Maryland laws paved the way for Adnan Syed’s release: One softened sentencing practices for children convicted of serious crimes and the other created a process for prosecutors to vacate faulty convictions. Lea Skene/The Baltimore Sun.
FIRST TRONE-PARROTT DEBATE CANCELED: The first scheduled debate of the 6th Congressional District race between Democratic incumbent David Trone of Potomac and his Republican challenger, state Del. Neil Parrott of Hagerstown, has been canceled after Parrott objected to participating in a virtual forum conducted via Zoom. Louis Peck/Bethesda Beat.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE ARUNDEL ELECTIONS PROCESS: After a lengthy midterm primary in which some candidates had to wait more than a week to learn the results of their races, party nominees vying for to represent Anne Arundel County at the local, state and federal level will campaign this month and next ahead of the general election. They have about six weeks to crisscross the county raising money and winning over voters in the lead-up to the Nov. 8 election. Dana Munro/The Annapolis Capital.
FIRST WOMAN: OFFICIAL PORTRAIT OF RETIRED CHIEF JUDGE BARBERA UNVEILED: The official portrait of retired Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera was destined to be highly symbolic, as it would be the first of 24 such drawings of the state’s top jurists going back to 1778 to feature a woman. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.
STATE SETTLES WITH KUSHNER COS. OVER APARTMENT SUIT: The state of Maryland has reached a settlement with a property management company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) announced on Friday. Westminster Management LLC, the New Jersey-based company owned by Kushner family interests, and several other corporate entities that own or owned 17 residential communities managed by Westminster Management, will pay a $3.25 million civil penalty and restitution to settle a 2019 lawsuit over allegations that the company charged tenants illegal fees and failed to maintain as many as 9,000 rental properties in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Prince George’s County. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.