State Roundup: Elections officials given go ahead to count mail-in ballots

State Roundup: Elections officials given go ahead to count mail-in ballots

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COURT RULING: MAIL-IN BALLOTS CAN BE COUNTED: Maryland elections officials can begin counting mail-in ballots as early as Saturday. The Court of Special Appeals denied Thursday Del. Dan Cox’s request for a stay of a lower court’s order allowing counting to begin. Joel McCord/WYPR

  • In a one-paragraph order issued late Thursday, Judge Douglas R.M. Nazarian struck down the effort by Republican gubernatorial nominee Cox to put a hold on ballot counting as he appeals a lower-court ruling allowing the process to begin as early as Saturday. The appeal itself remains active. Emily Opilo/Baltimore Sun
  • It’s the latest step in a legally complicated debate over when millions of ballots will be counted in the fall general election, and it represents a loss for Cox. Pamela Wood/Baltimore Banner
  • The Court of Special Appeals has not publicly announced if or when a hearing on Cox’s challenge to Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge James Bonifant’s order will be heard. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record
  • As the ruling came,  his political opponents amplified concerns about whether the GOP nominee for Maryland governor will accept the results of the November election. Cox has repeatedly sidestepped questions about whether he would respect the results if courts ruled against him, only saying he would accept the outcome if ballots were counted after Election Day, as has been the normal practice. Karina Elwood/Washington Post
  • The state elections board predicts more than 1 million mail-in ballots will be submitted in Maryland in the general election. Ginny Bixby/Bethesda Beat

STATE EMPLOYEE RAISE EXPANDED: Maryland state employees will receive a 4.5% wage increase beginning Nov. 1 as a result of a second year of a projected multibillion dollar revenue surplus. The cost of living increase fulfills Gov. Larry Hogan’s pledge to devote some of the $2 billion revenue surplus from fiscal year 2022 to state employees. Hannah Gaskill/Baltimore Sun

  • The federal largess continuing to rain the states made the expanded raise possible, but the fiscal officials also cautioned that the U.S. economy has entered a new period of uncertainty and warned that state budget-writers must prepare for an economic slowdown. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters
BETTER FUNDED DEM TRIES TO TAKE DOWN MD’S ONLY GOP HOUSE MEMBER: Heather Mizeur’s campaign for Maryland’s First Congressional District seat has raised $1,570,809 so far, more than any of the last four Democratic candidates who came before her, according to Federal Election Commission records. House election analysts, however, only give her a slim chance to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. Andy Harris in November. He has held the seat since 2011 and has raised $955,507 so far in his campaign for reelection, according to the FEC. Nolan Clancy and Courtney Cohn/The Capital News Service in Maryland Reporter
NEW MOVE OVER LAW GOING INTO EFFECT: Starting Saturday, Maryland drivers will be required to slow down or move over when passing any stopped cars displaying warning signals, officials said. Violators will face a $110 fine and add a point to their driving record. Drivers in the state also will be required to use rear-facing seats for children under 2 years old. Sean Salai/The Washington Times
  • Maryland is the eighth state to expand its Move Over Law to include all disabled vehicles. Previously, the Move Over Law applied only when approaching law enforcement vehicles, tow trucks, and emergency response vehicles and equipment. Victoria Maas/Conduit Street, the blog of the Maryland Association of Counties

STATEWIDE CANDIDATE FORUMS: Please join us for online virtual forums for the candidates for comptroller (Oct. 6), attorney general (posted later) and governor (Oct. 13) Here’s the flyer. Register there to see the comptroller and governor forums live.  All the candidates on the ballot except Democrat Wes Moore chose to participate. The League of Women Voters is the lead sponsor along with,, Maryland Nonprofits, Maryland Latinos Unidos and the University of Baltimore’s Schaefer Center for Public Policy, the online host.

AGING WATER SYSTEM BLAMED FOR BOIL ADVISORY: Baltimore officials identified a likely cause of the E. coli contamination that left much of West Baltimore under a water boil advisory earlier this month, pointing to a series of failures stemming from the city’s aging water infrastructure. Adam Willis/Baltimore Banner

  • The city’s explanation starts with a sinkhole on North Avenue in early July, which occurred when a 115-year-old stone tunnel became overwhelmed by stormwater and collapsed. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun

HOUSE DEMOLISHED DUE TO SINKHOLE LEAVES FAMILY HOMELESS, WITHOUT CITY HELP: When a massive sinkhole struck North Avenue, Quentin Bell’s house and possessions were destroyed. But now insurance isn’t covering any of his loss, saying that it is the city’s fault. Rebecca Pryor/WBFF

JOHNS HOPKINS PRIVATE POLICE FORUM SHUT DOWN AGAIN: Another attempt at holding a town hall meeting on a proposal to form a private police department at Johns Hopkins University, ended the way a similar meeting ended a week ago. “Shut it down,” protesters cried.  Jeff Abell/WBFF

  • Johns Hopkins University’s vice president for public safety Branville Bard said that while the school already has campus security guards, the school is missing a “vital component” to respond to violence on campus grounds. “Violence impacts us all too frequently and everybody deserves to feel safe,” Bard said. Bethany Raja/WYPR

UNINSURED CHILDREN WHO CAN’T AFFORD SHOTS WON’T BE COUNTED FOR FUNDING FORMULA: When every public school in the state on Friday morning takes an official count of how many students are sitting in their classrooms, they won’t be counting the children whose parents don’t have health insurance and can’t afford to have their kids immunized against standard childhood diseases, such as mumps and measles, quickly. Free city health department appointments aren’t available for weeks, and without being counted, the schools will lose crucial funding for those students. Liz Bowie/Baltimore Banner

SECOND GENTLEMAN VISITS BALTIMORE: Second gentleman Doug Emhoff visited Baltimore Thursday to promote nutrition and access to recreational spaces, especially in urban areas. Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, joined U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy at Park Heights Academy. Kelsey Kushner/WJZ

  • Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and Emhoff kicked off to 25 in 5, an initiative looking to provide more play space for children in parks and playgrounds in 25 places in five years. Ashley McDowell/WMAR

NICE BRIDGE DEMOLITION CHALLENGED IN COURT: A new federal lawsuit asks a judge to halt the imminent demolition of the historic Harry W. Nice Bridge because its replacement lacks a bicycle and pedestrian path that state officials originally pledged to include. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record

ADDITIONAL DELAYS TO FAMILIES USING 529 COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS: Families enrolled in a popular college savings plan will face additional delays in accessing their funds, the official in charge of Maryland’s “529” programs said on Thursday. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters

About The Author

Meg Tully

Contributing Editor Meg Tully has been covering Maryland politics for more than five years. She has worked for The Frederick News-Post, where she reported during the General Assembly session in Annapolis. She has also worked for The (Hanover) Evening Sun and interned at Baltimore Magazine. Meg has won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association for her state and county writing, and a Keystone Press Award for feature writing from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions or comments contact Meg at:

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