Elections | WYPR

Elections

Election coverage from WYPR and NPR.

US Supreme Court

It’s been 17 days since Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg succumbed to cancer at the age of 87. Ginsburg was a heroic figure for millions of Americans: as the Notorious RBG, she was an icon of liberal grace, resilience and reason.   A week after Ginsburg’s death, President Trump announced his pick for her replacement – conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom Trump named to the 7th Circuit court three years ago.

Judge Barrett will be questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee during four days of hearings set to begin next Monday, with a full Senate vote on her confirmation possible before the end of October, although that timetable could be upset by the Coronavirus.  Two Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee, Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, have tested positive for the virus.  Both attended the event at the White House in which Judge Barrett was introduced as Mr. Trump’s nominee.  At least four other people who attended that event have also tested positive...

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The first of two statewide ballot questions this year could create a significant shift in power in Annapolis by allowing the General Assembly to move money around within the governor’s proposed budget. The legislature debated the proposed amendment to the state constitution for more than two decades before sending it to voters this year.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

The long running dispute between Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and just about the rest of the known universe concerning how to conduct the November elections appears to have been resolved.

Election officials from across the state had urged the Governor to conduct the election the same way we voted back in June: a mostly mail-in election, with a handful of polling places open for a limited number of voters who either didn’t want to vote by mail, or were unable to vote by mail... 

The Maryland State Board of Elections is weighing a proposal to replace the small polling places that serve one or two voter precincts with a much smaller number of large vote centers. Local election officials are pushing the idea in response to a massive shortage of election judges and locations that can house polling sites.

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 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.   

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.”

Joel McCord

Voters in Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District headed to the polls Tuesday to choose someone to fill the remainder of the term of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings.

But the turn-out was extremely light in an election conducted almost completely by mail-in ballot.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer


On Tuesday, the state of Maryland will do something it’s never done before: conduct an election almost completely by mail. Ballots for the 7th congressional district special election to fill the remainder of the late Elijah Cummings’ term in Congress must be postmarked on the 28th or placed in a drop box by 8 p.m. Tuesday. 

Gov. Larry Hogan decided to hold the election by mail last month in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has closed businesses and forced schools to hold remote classes for an indefinite period of time.

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Voters in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District are in for a new first on Tuesday as they choose someone to fill the remainder of the term of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings. The election will be conducted almost entirely by mail.

Gov. Larry Hogan made the call in March to switch to mail-in ballots to protect voters and poll workers because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Those ballots must be postmarked on or before April 28 and received by your local election office by 10 a.m. May 8. Postage is paid on the return envelope. View a sample ballot here.

 

Alcantar214/Flickr Creative Commons

Here's an important update about the April 28 election to choose a successor to the late Rep. Elijah Cummings in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District:

The State Board of Elections has decided there will be three in-person polling centers for people who are not able to vote by mail. 

JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP

Voters in Maryland’s June 2 primaries will be sent mail-in ballots, while some will have the option of casting a ballot on election day at one to four polling places per county, the Maryland State Board of Elections said in a Thursday afternoon meeting.

The decision is a departure from last week’s meeting, in which the board recommended there be no in-person voting in June because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

AP/Patrick Semansky

Gov. Larry Hogan issued a proclamation Tuesday that moves the April 28 Maryland primary elections to June 2 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

 

The decision affects both Maryland’s presidential and local primaries, including primaries for mayor, city council president and other offices in Baltimore City.  Early voting will begin May 21 and run through May 28.

 

The 7th congressional district special election to fill the remainder of the late Elijah Cummings’ term will still be held in April, using solely mail-in ballots.

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%.

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.

Jamyla Krempel

The polls opened to some light rain Tuesday morning in the special primary election to fill the late Congressman Elijah Cummings’ seat representing Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. One West Baltimore elementary school saw a slow but steady stream of voters, though not everyone had their minds made up before casting ballots.

Jose Luis Magana (top image) & Julio Cortez (bottom image)/AP

 Days after the emotional funeral of congressman and civil rights icon Elijah Cummings, Governor Larry Hogan announced a Feb. 4 special primary to fill his seat – and Democratic candidates in the deep-blue 7th congressional district were off to the races. 

 

“The whole race has been very fast. It's been emotional,” Martha McKenna, a longtime Democratic campaign consultant and advisor to Maya Rockeymore Cummings, said. “It's been the kind of race where people talking to each other about... why they're supporting individual candidates has a lot of meaning because the whole election has come so quickly, over the holidays and into the new year.”

 

Baltimore City Hall

 

After months of speculation, Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott has officially entered the 2020 mayoral race, becoming the first elected official to do so.

 

The 35-year-old announced his campaign in north Baltimore on Friday morning, surrounded by family members and a group of leaders from the second district, which he represented as a councilman, as well as other city leaders.

 

MD Latino Voter Turnout

Nov 8, 2018
MyJon / Flickr / Creative Commons

Despite their growing numbers in the U.S. population, Latino voters turn out in notoriously low numbers on Election Day. WYPR went looking for Latino voters at polls on Tuesday to see who showed up and who they voted for.

Maryland Department of Planning

A federal court in Baltimore threw out Maryland’s congressional district map on Wednesday as unconstitutional. The three-judge panel gave state lawmakers until March to submit new districts.

Rachel Baye

As voters head to the polls starting Thursday for early voting, they will be asked to approve an amendment to the state constitution to allow citizens to register to vote on Election Day.

An ad released this week by Gov. Larry Hogan’s campaign spends four minutes lauding the governor’s accomplishments on more than a dozen transportation projects.

Through a series of television news clips and video of press conferences, the ad describes how Hogan advanced efforts to widen I-270, the Capital Beltway, the Baltimore Beltway and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway; extended the I-95 North toll lanes; and lowered tolls — among other things.

Rachel Baye

Let’s say you buy a new TV for $500 dollars. Maryland’s current 6-percent sales tax would add $30 on top of that.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous announced Thursday that if elected, he would cut the state sales tax to 5.75 percent, saving you $1.25 on that TV purchase.

Official Portraits

While Republicans and Democrats in Washington continue to snipe at each other over what the president did or didn’t say, or whether Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, recent events have led two Maryland lawmakers to reach across the partisan divide.

It was a little more than a week ago that the FBI told Maryland officials that a Russian-backed firm owns the servers where much of the state’s election data is stored. John Delaney, a Democratic Congressman from Montgomery County, says that felt like a punch to the gut.

Maryland House of Delegates

The state legislature’s ethics committee is investigating Baltimore City House Delegation Chair Curt Anderson for alleged sexual misconduct.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The nine Democrats running for governor faced off Wednesday in their fourth debate, which was taped and will air on WMAR-2 News on June 13 at 8 p.m. WYPR’s Rachel Baye discusses the debate with Nathan Sterner.

photo courtesy Friends of Johnny O

Today, another installment in our series of Conversations with the Candidates.  Joining Tom in Studio A is former Maryland House Delegate and public school teacher John Olszewski, Jr.  Known as “Johnny O,” he represented the County’s 6th district for two terms in the Maryland General Assembly, and spent nine years teaching in several Baltimore County public schools. In June of 2017, he took leave from his position with a local software company to launch himself back into politics. Olszewski is one of four Democrats vying to be their party's primary pick for the office of Baltimore County Executive.  Maryland primary elections will be held on June 26th.

Today, Tom's guest is Krish Vignarajah, a Democratic candidate for Governor -- as we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in MD.  She is one of nine Democrats on the ballot in June. The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November. 

Several candidates have chosen women as their Lt. Governor running mates, but Ms. Vignarajah is the only woman running for the top job. Her running mate is Sharon Blake, the former head of the Baltimore Teacher’s Union.

Krish Vignarajah served as Policy Director to First Lady Michelle Obama. She was also a senior advisor at the State Department for Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Before working in the Obama administration, she was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. She is a Yale and Oxford educated lawyer who practiced law in Washington, DC. She clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and she taught as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She is 38 years old. She and her husband, Collin O’Mara, who is the President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, live in Gaithersburg with their baby daughter.

We streamed this conversation live on WYPR's Facebook page. Want to watch that video? Click here.

Photo Courtesy Brian Frosh

We continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates, which includes those who already hold public office.   Maryland’s Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh joins us live in Studio A. He is unopposed in the primary in June.  He’ll be running against Republican Craig Wolf in November.  Mr. Frosh was elected to the AG’s office in 2014, after serving 10 years in the MD Senate.

He lives in Somerset with his wife Marcy.  They have two daughters. 

Today's conversation, like all our Conversations with the Candidates, was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page.

benjealous.com

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26 primary ballot here in Maryland. Early voting begins June 14th.

Tom’s guest for the hour, live in Studio A, is Ben Jealous, a Democratic candidate for Governor. Last May, when he stood in front of his cousin’s flower shop in Baltimore’s Ashburton neighborhood and jumped into the race, he was only the second Democrat to announce his candidacy. Now, he has plenty of company: There will be nine Democrats on the ballot in June. The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election next November.  

Ben Jealous is perhaps best known as the former president and CEO of the NAACP. When he was appointed to that position in 2008, he was, at 35 years old, the youngest person ever to lead the NAACP. He was there for more than 5 years. When he left the NAACP in 2013, he joined Kapor Capital as a partner and investor. It’s a progressive investment firm based in Oakland, CA. He manages the firm’s Baltimore office. He is also a visiting professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is a former community organizer and, early in his career, he was a journalist. He is 45 years old and the father of two. He lives in Anne Arundel Co.

Today's conversation, like all our Conversations with the Candidates, was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page.

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