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Cox won’t say if he will accept election outcome

State Del. Dan Cox declares victory in the Maryland Republican primary for governor on July 19 in Emmitsburg, Md.
Rachel Baye
/
WYPR
State Del. Dan Cox declares victory in the Maryland Republican primary for governor on July 19 in Emmitsburg, Md.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox is raising doubts about whether he will accept the results of November’s election.

That may hinge on whether election workers begin canvassing mail-in ballots before Election Day, Cox suggested Monday afternoon.

“When we see the electoral process upheld, when we see the law and the constitution upheld, that’s where we get our confidence,” Cox said during a press conference in Baltimore.

The State Board of Elections has asked a Montgomery County Circuit Court to suspend state law so ballots can be canvassed beginning Oct. 1.

If election workers cannot begin processing mail-in ballots before Election Day, Maryland may not have certified election results until late December or early January, the State Board of Elections warned in a press release last month. Maryland is the only state that prohibits early canvassing.

But Cox has said such a move would violate the Maryland constitution. The power to suspend or change the law belongs to the General Assembly, he contends.

“The Constitution and the law is clear, and yet midstream, once again, right in the middle of the election, the State Board of Elections would like to change that not by the legal recourse but by a back door,” Cox said Monday. “That's inappropriate and it creates distrust.”

Asked directly if he will accept the election results if the court allows the state to begin processing ballots early, Cox said he did not want to “to give statements of conjecture and projection.”

A hearing on the ballot-counting issue is planned for Tuesday morning.

The Baltimore Banner reporter Pamela Wood contributed reporting to this story.

Rachel Baye is a reporter for WYPR's newsroom.
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