Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Maryland Democrats File Legal Action to Stop GOP Referendum Against Congressional Districts // Online Signatures Invalid?

UPDATE: Opponents of the Maryland redistricting map note that the five plaintiffs who joined the Maryland Democrats' lawsuit are party activists. The named plaintiffs below range from DNC committee members to Democratic Central Committee members from various Maryland counties.

The Maryland Democratic Party has filed a legal action against the Maryland State Board of Elections alleging that they improperly certified the Republican-backed challenge to the State's new Congressional Districts. We previously reported that the GOP had succeeded in gathering enough petition signatures to subject Maryland's Congressional map to a repeal referendum this November.

The Maryland Democrats are now challenging over 5,000 signatures which they say are invalid for a number of reasons. Their complaints include that the signatures were gathered over the Internet rather than in-person, along with a number of other defects. See the Democrats press release and legal complaint below:


ED Sloan: Party Committed to Ensuring Confidence in Petition Process

ANNAPOLIS (July 24, 2012) – Maryland Democratic Party Executive Director issued the following statement after the Maryland Democratic State Central Committee joined Dennis Whitley III, Anne Neal, Karren Jo Pope-Onwukwe, Joanna Hanes-Lahr, and Matthew Thomas in filing a complaint against the State Board of Elections:

“The Maryland Constitution and Election Law lay out clear standards for reviewing and validating petition signatures. The State Board of Elections failed to fairly apply these standards and inappropriately approved thousands of signatures that violated the definitive requirements set forth in law and regulation. By doing so, the State Board caused irreparable harm to the millions of voters who chose not to sign the petition. The Maryland Democratic Party is committed to ensuring confidence in and protecting the integrity of the petition process, and has taken appropriate steps to do so today.

“The Maryland Congressional Districting Plan, which was supported by an overwhelming majority of the General Assembly and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, reflects Maryland’s diversity and largely Democratic population growth over the last decade. The Maryland GOP’s partisan effort to overturn this plan is simply a desperate ploy by a declining party who has abandoned all hopes of winning elections and has turned instead to constantly churning out questionable petition signatures.

“Maryland voters will undoubtedly see this effort as a transparent attempt by Republicans to subvert legislative procedure and impose a radical tea party agenda. We are confident of victory, up and down the ballot, in November.”

View the complaint here

Maryland Democrats Legal Complaint Against GOP Redistricting Referendum 7/24/12

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