Maryland Will Decide Soon Whether To Make Primary Mail-In Only

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) will decide “in the next few days” whether to make the state’s April 28th presidential primary mail-in ballot only as the coronavirus outbreak spreads.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/?p=1297044

Hogan, though, is a different brand of Republican than his Senate colleagues. A wildly popular Republican governor in a blue state with a Democratic statehouse, he walks a more moderate line.

He doesn’t have a choice.

2 Likes

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ® will decide “in the next few days” whether to make the state’s April 28th presidential primary mail-in ballot only as the coronavirus outbreak spreads.

You won’t here this often from me, but…this is a great idea by a Republican.

If nothing else positive comes from this pandemic, forcing states to abandon in-person voting for a vote-by-mail system is a massive step in the right direction.

MD Dems should immediately agree and extend it to the Nov election as well.

2 Likes

So yeah, Hogan is an old school Republican and yeah, he’s handled this thing much better than the Trump administration. I voted across the aisle for him. I’d like to see him run for president.

But I’ll say this one more time with feeling – Marylanders have ZERO effect on the vote for President. Not close to zero, absolutely zero. The Democratic nominee will be decided long before this vote. Our electoral votes in the general election have already been designated.

So mail in or not doesn’t make one bit of difference. We’re spectators.

I prefer mail-in for the few states where your vote means something (8 or 10 of them maybe?) because recounts have a clear paper trail.

1 Like

Maybe Maryland sets an example for other states even if its vote doesn’t affect the electoral math.

1 Like

Maybe for now.

But you do have one GOP rep. High turnout aided by a vote-by-mail system could have Maryland send an all Blue delegation to Congress.

I don’t enjoy praising R’s either, but here in WA state, the R’s went to vote-by-mail for their primaries before the Democrats did, which gave us the Bernie win in the 2016 caucus with Hillary winning the vote-by-mail non binding primary right after. And then we went to full vote-by mail for local elections, primaries and the general in WA for this cycle. It’s the best system, and can handle this kind of crisis.

Why not for all the US states? It isn’t perfect, but it expands the franchise to those who can’t get to a polling place, it’s immune to voter suppression with ID checks or other chicanery, and it has a paper trail. Not only that, you can check online if your mail-in ballot has been counted.

3 Likes

I see this as an opportunity for us to demonstrate the feasibility of mail-in voting for future Maryland elections - especially if the coronavirus returns this fall as some expect.

1 Like

In other election news

1 Like

There are plenty of down-ballot races, though, so let’s not discourage voters from participating. Maryland is such a blue state that in the Democratic primary you’re basically choosing who will be the winner in November.

ETA: I’m a dedicated poll worker in Maryland, and find the election process exciting and important, but this year our goal should be safety first for everyone.

3 Likes

Excellent development by a Republican who now understands the problem. The only way to insure that we have a fair election in November…or any election in November considering how desperate Trump has become.

1 Like

Did you see this? Trump feels that if he can appease Wall Street’s private equity crowd that he’s doing a perfect job. Till the market falls again after the profit taking frenzy ends and reality sets in once more.

– Trump sent Lou Dobbs a chart of Friday’s market rebound with Trump’s signature on it. Dobbs proudly showed it to viewers… (Mediaite)

– Other Trump supporters also received a copy of the chart along with “screenshots of television coverage of the stock market closing much higher than Thursday,” Jamie Gangel reports. “The message did not mention the overall coronavirus crisis, the number of people who have died or are sick, nor the fact that he had just declared a national emergency…” (CNN)

1 Like

But you do have one GOP rep. High turnout aided by a vote-by-mail system could have Maryland send an all Blue delegation to Congress.

Frankly, Maryland should have more Republican reps but it doesn’t due gerrymandering that is positively absurd. Bring up a map of the districts. It’s shameful. We’re setting plenty of examples, some of them bad.

I want Maryland and every other state in this country to do proportional voting for president, because this is every bit as big a problem for Democrats in Oklahoma, and Nebraska, and South Dakota, etc. Their votes mean nothing too. As it stands my vote truly means nothing (my rep is Steny Hoyer by the way whose district has been left moderate because he’s impenetrable). Proportional voting would force Republicans to come back to the center where they’ve historically been.

This is fundamentally the heart of America’s political problem, even more than the profligate spending. In spite of billion dollar presidential campaigns I never see a single political ad on my TV. There’s a reason for that – i don’t get to vote, at least not really. I share this disenfranchisement with the citizens of about 42 other states.

I’ll also mention that the prior Maryland governor encouraged the entire state to vote absentee when the Diebold story was hot in the press. So Maryland has been out in front on this for years.

1 Like

Not sure how to interpret AOC on this? Finally wising up to political reality, or bailing quickly on the candidate she was fervently backing ?

He doesn’t have a choice.

Are you from Maryland?

1 Like

pi

3 Likes

I also live in Maryland and have a little bit of a different view. I voted for Hogan’s re-election, but he wasn’t “wildly popular” with me. In fact, I’ve agreed with every one of the Democratic legislature’s veto override votes. I voted for him because he is a decent human being who will be (and has been) a check on those pieces of Democratic legislation that reflect more heart than head.

Nevertheless, I don’t agree with going to an all mail-in ballot this year, with so little time to think through the potential problems. We already have early voting and absentee voting and enough voting stations that you are less likely to get infected by going to one than by going to the grocery store. But if we don’t have enough early voting days or we need to add extra hours to voting stations, I’d rather do that.

Finally, I’m concerned that all mail- in might actually depress the minority vote in urban areas like Baltimore, where going to the polls is a sacred act (as it should be everywhere) and where Republican efforts to depress the African American vote in years past are legion.

So, my suggestion would be: Let’s go slower and not just be blinded by this latest shiny object that we assume is gold. It might just be the gold of fools.

2 Likes

AOC got in trouble earlier this year with some Sanders supporters when she said improving healthcare, even if we didn’t immediately achieve M4A, was still a worthy accomplishment.

From my point-of-view, AOC is showing a good understanding of politics unusual in a first-term Representative, and she appears to understand the big picture in terms of the importance of advancing policies she supports even if immediate implementation isn’t possible.

Thanks for the insight, I hope she stays pragmatic, considering what we’re up against.

1 Like

She was never as naïve as her adversaries claimed.

(I include her adversaries within the party.)

2 Likes