Maryland: State should give referendum process a second look

Wed, Dec 11 2013 — Source: Baltimore Sun

The right to referendum is the basic democratic right of the people to appeal a government legislative action through petition and the power of the vote. As a former citizen activist and a current elected official, I wholeheartedly support this right.

In 2010, I sponsored Howard County Council Bill 34, which clarified that county law has a minimal role in the referendum process which is governed by state law. CB 34 sought to elucidate this for the Board of Elections. In light of recent petition failures, I believe that the Board of Elections needs guidance from the state and that the state law needs to be made clear. I’ve sent a letter to Howard County’s state delegation and asked for a review of state laws and guidelines governing the referendum process to ensure that this basic right can be fairly realized by the citizens in Howard County, whom we serve.

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