Maryland 2020 Elections | WYPR

Maryland 2020 Elections

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

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.”

ThiruForBaltimore

Today, the final installment in our pre-primary series of Conversations with the Candidates.  Tom's guest is Thiru Vignarajah, a veteran city and federal prosecutor and one of a crowded field of Democratic contenders in the June 2nd primary election for Baltimore mayor.

A WYPR/Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll released yesterday places Mr. Vignarajah just outside the group of three leading candidates in the race, but the poll also indicated that crime reduction is the top priority for a majority of likely voters.  Will Baltimore choose a prosecutor to lead the City in the fight against violence and a global pandemic?

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.”

Mfume for Congress

Today, our series of Conversations with the Candidates continues with the newest member of the Maryland congressional delegation, 7th District Congressman Kweisi Mfume. Rep. Mfume, who previously served five terms representing the 7th District from 1987-1996, before stepping down to head the NAACP until 2004, recently won back his old House seat in the April 28 special election held to fill the remaining term of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Now, Rep. Mfume hopes to keep the seat for the next full term, and is campaigning for the Democratic primary election June 2 against a strong field.  He joins Tom on the line from his home in Baltimore to discuss the campaign, and some of the urgent issues now before the House. 

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.

Office of the Mayor

It's another edition of our series of Conversations with the Candidates, and Tom's guest today is the Mayor of Baltimore, Bernard C. "Jack" Young, a veteran city lawmaker and former City Council President who stepped into the mayor’s job about a year ago when Catherine Pugh resigned.

Mayor Young has spent years in city government, and the year he has spent as Baltimore's mayor has been eventful, to say the least.  It began with a crippling ransomware attack on the city’s computer system and now, of course, the city is dealing with an unprecedented global pandemic.  More than 2,800 city residents have been infected with the coronavirus.  Nearly 150 Baltimoreans have died from COVID-19.  And, the longstanding problem of violence on city streets remains.  More than 92 people have been victims of homicide so far this year.

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.”

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/Rick Bowmer

As we continue to hunker down in our homes (and that includes Midday host Tom Hall)a conversation about two very important elections coming up in the next couple of months. 

Voters in the 7th Congressional District have three weeks to vote for a successor to the late Congressman Elijah Cummings.  Democrat Kweisi Mfume is running against Republican Kimberly Klacik to fill the remaining time in the late congressman’s term.  Voters will vote by mail.  Ballots must be postmarked no later than April 28th.

Ballots should start arriving in the mailboxes of 7th District voters soon.  If you don’t receive a ballot this week, you should go on line or call the Board of Elections to be sure you get a ballot in time.  

We'll talk about the second election, the re-scheduled June 2nd primary for local and national races, in our segment later this hour with Democratic candidate Dan Sparaco, who's running to be Baltimore's next City Council President.  

Last Friday here on Midday, we talked with the Secretary of State of Washington, Kim Wyman, who has overseen mail-in elections there for several years.  Today, Tom checks in with a former Secretary of State of Maryland who is a nationally recognized expert on voting procedures and election reform. 

DanSparaco.com

Now, another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates. Tom's guest is Dan Sparaco, an attorney in private practice and a candidate who's running in the June 2 primary election for Baltimore City Council President.

He is one of eight candidates -- seven Democrats and one Republican -- in the race.  He is running on a platform of political reform and a fundamental restructuring of the City Council.

Mr. Sparaco is a native New Yorker who earned his law degree at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for several years as an attorney with The Legal Aid Society in New York.  He moved to Baltimore in 2010 to work in Baltimore’s Legal Department.  In 2013, he was appointed Assistant Deputy Mayor for Operations under Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Dan Sparaco is 44 years old. He lives in Greenmount West, and he joins Tom on the line from his home office.

Listeners with questions or comments are invited to call, email or tweet during the live broadcast. 

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.

Rachel Baye


 Progressive state senator Mary Washington has suspended her campaign for the Democratic mayoral primary, saying she needs to fully devote her time to 43rd legislative district constituents as the novel coronavirus pandemic and its public health and economic impact worsens.

 

“The extraordinary events of the past several weeks have drastically changed our way of life in Baltimore and across the nation. During this unprecedented time, I am deeply committed, first and foremost, to standing by the people of the 43rd District as their State Senator,” Washington said in a Monday statement.