State Roundup: Despite early counting of mail-in ballots, delays in results for tight races likely; abortion rights impels voters

State Roundup: Despite early counting of mail-in ballots, delays in results for tight races likely; abortion rights impels voters

Despite early counting of mail-in ballots, results of tight races may be delayed. State Department photo circa 1918.

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DELAYS IN RESULTS OF TIGHT RACES REMAIN LIKELY: About half of Maryland counties have started counting mail-in ballots before Election Day, making use of a court ruling aimed at streamlining election results after a primary season marked by delays. But even with the head start, local election officials said voters can still expect to wait days or weeks for all ballots to be counted — meaning potential holdups in calling tight races. Karina Elwood/The Washington Post.

ABORTION ACCESS IMPELLING VOTERS: Threats to national abortion rights are helping drive turnout in Maryland’s election, according to a new poll that found an overwhelming number of likely voters favor a state constitutional amendment to try to safeguard the procedure. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

  • An uncertain economic future and the threat of an abortion ban are among the issues motivating Marylanders to vote this election season, a new poll of likely voters for Baltimore Sun Media and the University of Baltimore shows. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
  • Most Marylanders plan to vote in favor of a ballot measure that would legalize cannabis in the state for those 21 and older, the Sun Media-UB poll shows. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.

BLACK PROFESSIONALS UNITE, DONATE TO HELP MOORE WIN: Maryland’s upwardly mobile Black professionals are organizing like never before to elect Wes Moore governor, an achievement that two prior Black candidates ? Anthony Brown in 2014 and Ben Jealous in 2018 ? could not accomplish. John-John Williams and Nick Thieme/The Baltimore Banner.

HOWARD EXEC HOPEFULS HAVE BUCKS IN THE BANK: With less than a week until Election Day, the two candidates running for Howard County executive have plenty of campaign money in the bank, according to reports filed Friday. Incumbent Calvin Ball, a Democrat, has a campaign bank account balance of $362,260.70, while his opponent, Republican Allan Kittleman, has $210,737.20. Sherry Greenfield/Baltimore Sun Media.

ARUNDEL INCUMBENTS OUTPACE RIVALS IN FUND-RAISING: With a week until Election Day and residents already voting early, Anne Arundel County Council and General Assembly incumbents largely have outpaced their opponents in fundraising, campaign finance reports show. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.

EARLY VOTING SCUFFLE IN CARROLL: The vice chairwoman of the Carroll County Republican Central Committee said Tuesday she was denied her right to vote and electioneer during early voting last week, when police were called to the Westminster Senior Center and escorted her away from the polling place following a disagreement with election judges. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.

LAWMAKERS DEMAND ANSWERS OVER HEALTH DEPT CONTRACT: Legislators from three committees demanded answers Tuesday from Health Department officials about a contractor who has failed to pay behavioral health and substance abuse treatment providers on a timely basis. Those officials and representatives of Minnesota-based Optum appeared eager to move past more than two years of problems lawmakers called serious and neglectful. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.

  • Monica McNeil, CEO of Optum, acknowledged that its payment system hasn’t always functioned properly. She told members of several General Assembly committees that the firm, a subsidiary of the health services giant United Behavioral Health, is “committed to doing better going forward.” Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

MD ENVIRO DEPT SAYS IT NEEDS 90 NEW WORKERS TO MEET GOALS: The Maryland Department of the Environment says that it needs nearly 90 new employees to achieve targets set out in a recent law, which requires the agency to reduce a backlog of expired emissions permits and hold polluters accountable by increasing inspections and penalizing violators. Aman Azhar /The Baltimore Banner.

DRUG-RELATED DEATHS DECLINE: Fatal drug overdoses dropped in the first half of the year around Maryland, including in Baltimore and five surrounding counties, reversing some of the jump during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, a state health official told a group of treatment providers and policymakers who gathered this week in Baltimore. Meredith Cohn/The Baltimore Sun.

PROSECUTORS ‘MISINTERPRETED’ NOTE THAT FREED SYED, AUTHOR SAYS: The author of the decades-old handwritten note Baltimore prosecutors cited as central to their argument to overturn Adnan Syed’s murder conviction in September now says his note was misinterpreted. Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.

  • In the weeks since Syed walked free into a cheering crowd, the note has come under scrutiny and sparked debate about whether prosecutors rushed to judgment or misread the trial prosecutor’s scribbled handwriting. Tim Prudente and Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.
  • The lawyer for Adnan Syed has asked Maryland’s second-highest court to throw out an appeal from the brother of Hae Min Lee, who is seeking more details about why Syed was exonerated in Lee’s 1999 murder, saying that the charges have been dropped. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record.

MO CO COUNCIL OK’s DELAYED RESOLUTION AGAINST ANTISEMITISM: The Montgomery County Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to pass a resolution to address and combat antisemitism that had been delayed several months because of pushback from community groups over the resolution’s definition of antisemitism. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.

  • Those in favor of the resolution, which affirmed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, clapped loudly as opponents protested and booed the council. IHRA defines antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” Apps Bichu/Bethesda Beat.

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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