Elections | WYPR

Elections

Local election coverage from WYPR programs and newsroom.

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Tuesday is the deadline to mail-in your ballot in the statewide primary election for President and Congressional offices, and here in Baltimore, all three citywide offices, and members of the city council. 

In the handful of other states that had mail-in elections in place before the pandemic, switching from the ballot box to the mailbox involved years of planning.  But in late April, Maryland election officials quickly organized mail-in balloting in the special election for the Congressional seat in the 7th District, and now, just weeks later, they are conducting the primary by mail, statewide. Nikki Charlson joins us on the line from Annapolis with an update. She is Deputy Administrator of the Maryland State Board of Elections.

Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

The deadline to mail in ballots for Baltimore’s citywide primaries is next Tuesday. This week, WYPR is airing audio profiles of the major Democratic mayoral candidates. Today, WYPR's Mary Rose Madden caught up with Mary Miller at a food distribution site in East Baltimore.

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Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The deadline to mail in ballots for Baltimore’s citywide primaries are next Tuesday. This week, WYPR is airing audio profiles of the major Democratic mayoral candidates. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan caught up with former mayor Sheila Dixon during a workout. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The deadline to mail in ballots for Baltimore’s citywide primaries are next Tuesday. This week, WYPR is airing audio profiles of the major Democratic mayoral candidates. Today, we’ll take a ride along with Brandon Scott, the City Council President from Park Heights. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan reports

Brandon Scott for Mayor

Brandon Scott was raised in Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood. He was elected in 2011 to represent the city's second district in Northeast Baltimore at the age of 27, one of the youngest people ever to serve on the council. 

In 2018, Jim Shea picked Scott as his running mate in their unsuccessful bid in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

In May 2019, his fellow council members unanimously chose him to be president after then-Council President Jack Young became mayor following former Mayor Catherine Pugh’s resignation. 

Courtesy of Miller for Mayor

After a long career at T. Rowe Price, Mary Miller was appointed by President Obama to top jobs at the Treasury Department. She was the first woman to serve as Under Secretary for the Office of Domestic Finance. For the last few years, she has been a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University 21st Century Cities Initiative.

According to the latest WYPR, Baltimore Sun and University of Baltimore poll, Miller is tied with former Mayor Sheila Dixon for the lead. This is her first run for political office. 

Courtesy of Sheila Dixon

Sheila Dixon is a former Baltimore City council member and city council president. She became mayor in January 2007 when then-mayor Martin O’Malley was inaugurated as Maryland’s governor. She served the remainder of his term and was elected in her own right in November 2007. In 2010 she was convicted of embezzlement in a scandal over gift cards meant for the needy and resigned.

Four years ago Dixon ran again in the Democratic mayoral primary, losing by a few thousand votes to Catherine Pugh. Now Dixon is running for mayor for the third time.   

AP/Patrick Semansky

  


  Only about a fifth of likely Baltimore voters think the city is moving in the right direction, while 65 percent believe the opposite, according to a new poll from WYPR, the Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore.

That may explain why two of the top three mayor’s race candidates, Mary Miller and Brandon Scott, are polling so well, said Roger Hartley, the dean of the University of Baltimore’s College of Public Affairs.

The numbers add to “the mantra that voters are looking for a fresh new face,” Hartley said. “With someone like Miller surging or someone like Brandon Scott, who's still doing well and has increased his support, they are those fresh new faces.”

Courtesy of the candidates' campaigns

A new poll from WYPR, The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore shows Del. Nick Mosby, former councilman Carl Stokes and councilwoman Shannon Sneed packed tightly together in the Baltimore City council president Democratic primary race, and Comptroller Joan Pratt with a slight edge over councilman Bill Henry in an unprecedentedly heated race for comptroller.   

Jose Luis Magana/AP

The coronavirus pandemic has made many states declare mail-in only primary elections this spring in order to promote social distancing, Maryland among them. A new poll from WYPR, the Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore found that a large majority of voters say the mail-in election will not affect their decision to vote and that most voters trust the mail-in elections process as much as they trust standard elections.

“You have a totally different type of election,” said Roger Hartley, dean of the University of Baltimore’s College of Public Affairs. “It's not getting people to turn out on Election Day. It's not having a union pick up supporters or a church pick up supporters and drive them to the polls.”

Courtesy of the candidates' campaigns

A new poll from WYPR, the Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore shows former mayor Sheila Dixon, Mary Miller and City Council President Brandon Scott in a statistical three-way tie in the Baltimore City mayoral Democratic primary race, with 22% of voters still undecided just two weeks shy of the election. 

“A couple of candidates could transcend, depending on how things go,” said Steve Raabe, the owner of OpinionWorks, which conducted the poll. “This is a race that really any one of three or four people could still win.”

TJSmithforbaltimore.com

Former Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith is one of six Democrats who are considered leaders in the race for Baltimore mayor.

This is Mr. Smith’s first run for political office.  He is a former Anne Arundel County police lieutenant who joined the Baltimore Police Department in 2015, with the arrival of Commissioner Kevin Davis. Smith served as the BPD chief of communications until 2018. He then served as press secretary and communications adviser to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr.

Note about a mayoral debate tonight: Baltimore mayoral candidates will share their perspectives on fair development, housing, transportation and zero waste in a free online forum tonight, Tues., May 19, from 6-8 pm, moderated by Baltimore Sun reporter Jean Marbella.

Confirmed participants include T.J. Smith, Sheila Dixon, Mary Miller, Brandon Scott and Thiru Vignarajah.  Watch this free event at:  Bit.ly/fairdevelopmentforum or by phone at 415-655-0001. The event access code is 472 484 895 and the password is 2020.

Courtesy of jillcarterforcongress.com

Maryland Senator Jill P. Carter is Tom’s guest. She is running for the 7th District Congressional seat that until last fall was held by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings. It’s now held by Kweisi Mfume, who won the Special Election last month to finish Mr. Cummings’ term.

Sen. Carter is one of the 19 Democrats running in the upcoming primary for a full term as a member of Congress from MD-7. After 14 years in Maryland’s House of Delegates, Sen. Carter has represented the 41st District in the Senate for the last two years. Sen. Carter is the daughter of the late Baltimore civil rights activist, Walter P. Carter. A lawyer, she’s 55 and lives in Hunting Ridge, in Southwest Baltimore. 

A reminder that Maryland’s primary election is being conducted mostly by mail. Ballots were mailed later than originally promised, but we are told to expect them in our mailboxes this week. If you are a registered voter and do not receive your ballot this week, please contact the Board of Elections to make sure they have your correct address. And if you’re not registered, there’s still time. The deadline for registering to vote is May 27.

AP PHOTO/RICK BOWMER

  Ballots addressed to Baltimore City voters were not mailed until at least last Thursday, a full week later than planned and long after ballots were sent to other registered voters across Maryland.

A statement from the Maryland Board of Elections on Sunday said that the June 2 primary mail-in ballots for Baltimore City voters are now expected to arrive by May 23. The board had originally said that Baltimoreans could expect ballots from early to mid-May.  

 

Courtesy of Miller for Mayor

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates.  Tom's guest is Mary Miller, one six Democrats considered leaders in the race for mayor. 

This is Ms. Miller’s first run for political office. After a long career at T Rowe Price, she was appointed by President Obama to top jobs at the Treasury Department. She was the first woman to serve as Under Secretary for Domestic Finance.   For the last few years, she has been a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University 21st Century Cities Initiative. 

A reminder that the primary is being conducted primarily by mail. If you are a registered voter, you should be receiving your ballot soon. Remember that the ballot has to be signed and postmarked by June 2. If you are not yet registered to vote, there’s still time. The deadline to register is May 27. For more information about how to register to vote, click here.

Maryland State Archives

Ballots arriving in voters’ mailboxes list the upcoming statewide primary election date as April 28, but the election is actually on June 2.

Nikki Charlson, the Deputy Administrator of the Maryland Board of Elections, told state legislators Wednesday that the error occurred because the ballots were printed before Gov. Hogan’s decision to postpone the election due to the coronavirus pandemic back in mid-March.

Get the latest on Maryland's primary races for president and House.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Courtesy of Sheila Dixon

Tom's guest is former Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon, who is in a crowded field of Democrats running for the office she held from 2007 to 2010.

Ms. Dixon represented the 4th District on the City Council for 12 years in the late '80s and '90s. She served as president of the City Council from 1999 until January 2007, when she became mayor after Martin O’Malley became governor.  Ms. Dixon was elected to her own term later that year.  In 2010, she resigned following a conviction for embezzlement and an Alford plea in a separate case in which she was charged with perjury.  She ran for mayor again in 2016.  She narrowly lost the Democratic primary to Catherine Pugh, and she garnered more than 51,000 votes in the general election as a write-in candidate.

This year's primary election will be conducted almost entirely by mail. Voters should receive a ballot soon. The ballot is marked April 28th, but you’ll find instructions that remind you that the April primary has been moved to June. You must mail your ballot back to the Board of Elections, postmarked no later than June 2.

Creative Commons

As Maryland adapts to a new way of life during the coronavirus pandemic, residents will also adapt to a new way of voting. The June 2nd primary election will be held by mail. Advocates Sam Novey, of Baltimore Votes and the National Conference on Citizenship, and Nykidra Robinson, of Black Girls Vote, join us to answer questions about the process.

Screenshot via House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Facebook page

 


  Kweisi Mfume is officially a U.S. Congressman once again. 

On Tuesday, the Democrat was sworn in to Congress by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to represent Maryland’s 7th congressional district through the rest of this year. 

“We’re very honored to have the Maryland Delegation... and all of us to welcome Rep. Mfume back to the House of Representatives, where he served with such distinction,” Pelosi said. “We look forward to again welcoming him when we’re all together, hopefully in a short period of time.”

Baltimore’s next mayor will face inherited challenges--like persistent gun violence and public transit failures--and new obstacles born of the pandemic.

Mary Miller, a former T. Rowe Price executive and top U.S. Treasury official under President Obama, is running for the Democratic nomination to be mayor of Baltimore. She warns the city may lose as many as a quarter of its small businesses because of the pandemic, and proposes a plan of action.

SCREENSHOT VIA EMILY SULLIVAN, KWEISI MFUME CAMPAIGN

Democrat Kweisi Mfume won Tuesday's election to carry out the rest of the late Elijah Cummings’ term in Congress, clinching a seat he held over a decade before leaving to lead the NAACP in 1996.

“I hold myself out to you this evening, willing and wanting to listen to you, to work with you, to build with you, to share with you,” Mfume said during a victory speech Tuesday night streamed live on Facebook. 

The fallout of the coronavirus - thousands are out of work, many small businesses hang by a thread. How will Baltimore’s next mayor lead the city’s economic recovery?

Former mayor Sheila Dixon is seeking the Democratic nomination in the primary election in June. She points to her experience governing during Great Recession as an asset.

Photo courtesy Thiru4Baltimore

This morning we kick off a series of conversations with candidates running to fill Baltimore’s top elective office. Up first, former federal and city prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah.

Courtesy of nickjmosby.com

Coronavirus has altered the election calendar for many states, including Maryland. The Primary Election for president and local offices has been postponed from April 28th to June 2nd. 

There still is an election on April 28th, to choose a successor to Elijah Cummings in the 7th Congressional District.  That election will be mail-in only.  The State Board of Elections will be mailing ballots to 7th District voters soon.  Be sure to check the Board of Elections website to make sure your address is correct. 

Today, Del. Nick Mosby is Tom's guest, as we continue with our Conversations with the Candidates series.  Mosby is a Democrat.  He has represented Baltimore in Maryland’s House of Delegates since 2017.  Before that, Mosby was a member of the Baltimore City Council for five years, representing Central West Baltimore.  Now, he’s running in the June primary against several other candidates for president of the Baltimore City Council.  

Before he entered politics, Mosby was a manager at Verizon Communications and Baltimore Gas and Electric.  He’s a Baltimore native and a Poly grad.  He holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Tuskegee University and a master’s degrees in telecommunications management from Stevens Institute of Technology.  He is 41 years old. He and his wife, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, live with their two children in Reservoir Hill.  He joins us on the phone from his home.   

Flickr.com

We begin today with a look at the results of a new poll released this morning by WYPR, the Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore on the race for Baltimore City Council President.   This new voter survey comes on the heels of another WYPR/Sun/UB poll released yesterday that's given us one of our first insights into the status of the race for Baltimore mayor.  Tom is joined in the studio by WYPR's city hall reporter Emily Sullivan for a review of key findings in both polls.

The conversation was livestreamed on WYPR's Facebook page.  Watch the video here, from the beginning until 08:45 into the feed.

CREDIT NICKJMOSBY.COM

Almost 40% of Democratic primary voters say they’re unsure who they’ll pick to become the next Baltimore City Council President. But among those who say they have decided, Delegate Nick Mosby has a nine-point advantage, a new poll released by WYPR, the Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore finds. 

Mosby enjoyed 26% support in the poll, followed by former City Councilman Carl Stokes with 17%.

Jamyla Krempel / WYPR

A new WYPR, The Baltimore Sun and University of Baltimore poll finds Shelia Dixon narrowly ahead in the crowded Democratic Baltimore mayoral primary, and Delegate Nick Mosby leading the City Council President race. The poll results show a large pool of undecided voters in both races.

Today, we continue our Conversations with the Candidates series with the two candidates who are running for Baltimore City comptroller, which is one of only three positions elected citywide. 

Joan M. Pratt has served as Baltimore City’s comptroller since 1995. Ms. Pratt is a Certified Public Accountant.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Hampton Institute in Virginia, and a Master’s degree in Taxation from the University of Baltimore.  Comptroller Pratt began her career at the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand. She also served as Comptroller of the Baltimore Legal Aid Bureau. She is 68 years old and she lives in Homeland.

Bill Henry has represented District 4, in North Baltimore, on the Baltimore City Council since 2007.  Mr. Henry serves on the Council’s Biennial Audits Oversight Commission and the Budget & Appropriations Committee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Public Policy from Johns Hopkins, and an MBA from Loyola University Maryland. He is 51 years old. He and his wife and their two daughters live in Radnor-Winston.

We livestreamed this conversation on the WYPR Facebook page.  Click here to watch the video. 

The race to win the Democratic primary for Baltimore City mayor is defined by a large pool of undecided voters, with former mayor Shelia Dixon enjoying a small lead, followed by Brandon Scott and Thiru Vignarajah, according to a new poll from WYPR, The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore.

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