Election Brings Changes to Maryland

Nov 8, 2012

Credit gay marriage, 123rf.com


Gay Marriage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gay couples across Maryland are talking up future wedding plans now that voters have authorized their right to marry.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

Voters on Tuesday approved a ballot question that legalized same-sex marriage. Now some couples are planning their nuptials after years of such talk being merely hypothetical.

Charles Blackburn of Baltimore says he expects to marry Glen Dehn, his partner of 34 years. He says it'll feel special to be recognized as an equal member of society.

Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into a law a same-sex marriage bill, but opponents collected enough signatures for a ballot referendum. Supporters of gay marriage mounted a wide coalition to overcome the opposition.

Voters in Maine passed same-sex marriage by popular vote while Minnesota voters defeated a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage.

Long Voting Lines

BALTIMORE (AP) — State officials are investigating complaints about voting problems, including long lines and registration issues.

Turnout for early voting and Election Day combined was 68 percent. This was lower than in the 2008 and 2004 elections.

But the Maryland State Board of Elections received complaints about hours-long waits the vote in some precincts. Baltimore Board of Elections Director Armstead Jones said it is too soon to say exactly what caused longer than expected waits.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Baltimore officials and the Maryland chapter of the ACLU got about 12 complaints from people who said although they had voted in 2008, their names were not listed in rolls.

 Changes in Wicomico County Government

Wicomico County voters approved a set of measures…that will change the way local government is carried out.

Now, when a County Council member leaves the council will have more time to fill it expanded from 30 to 45 days.

When filing petitions residents will have to gather 20 percent of the number of voters…who voted in the last presidential election or 10-thousand whichever is few.

The Charter had required 15 percent of registered voters.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that other measures…included requiring the county attorney to practice law in Maryland for a least five years before being appointed to the post.

And the County Executive will have to hold a public hearing on the capital improvement program and the expense budget.