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Responsive Gov’s Grade TL;DR

This past year the Maryland General Assembly was finally able to successfully pass legislation to establish a cure process for mail ballots and allow ballot preprocessing after similar changes were vetoed last year. However, the Assembly failed to move forward legislation to upgrade its automatic voter registration system to a more secure, efficient, and improved system. Therefore, Maryland received a B on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where Maryland Started at the Beginning of 2023

  • Automatic Voter Registration: Partial AVR
  • Online Voter Registration: DMV ID
  • Same-Day Registration: Yes
  • Restoration of Rights: Prison Disenfranchisement
  • Vote by Mail: No-Excuse
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Member: Yes
  • Early Voting Opportunities: Regular Ballot Early Voting
  • ID Requirements: No Document Required

Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for Maryland as of 2022, we considered the state a top tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2023 activity against other top tier states.

How Our Tier Compares

  • COVI (2022): 14th
  • EPI Score (2020): 19th
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): 7/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): MEDIUM

2023: This Past Year

Legislative Action

This year the Assembly was finally able to pass legislation to improve the absentee voting process for both voters and election officials, after earlier attempts were vetoed by the governor.

  • H 535/ S379 establishes a cure process for absentee ballots and requires preprocessing to start eight days before early voting starts.
  • H 1200 establishes minimum poll worker pay rates and requires the State Board to develop a campaign to recruit poll workers.
  • H 410 revises the process for siting polling places and establishes a process for public participation before polling place changes can be implemented.
  • Unfortunately, the Legislature failed to advance legislation to upgrade the state’s existing automatic voter registration system to a more effective Secure AVR system.