I am writing to provide an update on the CB58-2008 referendum petition drive that started last November after the Howard County Maryland Council approved a 300% zoning increase for the size of grocery stores in Turf Valley.You may recall that citizens gathered over 9,300 signatures to place this legislation on the ballot for voters to decide in the 2010 election.

Frederick County officials are calling on residents to sign a petition to hold a referendum on the city of Frederick’s plans to annex three neighborhoods. The county has set up a website listing petition locations and urging people to sign, while developers have paid city officials to send a letter to all registered city voters urging them not to sign.

Several local leaders are spearheading an effort to give Annapolis voters the opportunity to decide if they want a cap on property taxes in the city. The Annapolis Tax Cap Charter Amendment would limit annual tax increases for residential and commercial properties to 4.5 percent or the rate of inflation - whichever is the lowest.

Read the story from The Capital

Speed cameras on U.S. highways?

Thu, Jun 4 2009 — Source: CNN

Lawmakers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Montana and Mississippi failed to get a freeway speed camera measure onto a ballot, but points to Maryland as an example of lawmakers’ success. He says 13 states have specific laws banning freeway cameras, but he sees a natural progression from states using red-light cameras to using freeway speed cameras.

Read the story from CNN

Organizers of a petition to put speed cameras in Maryland to a public vote failed to overcome their first bureaucratic hurdle after working furiously over the weekend to collect the necessary signatures before a midnight Sunday deadline, dooming the effort.

Read the story from the Washington Times

Three years after voters approved raises for the first time in nearly a decade that doubled the mayor’s salary and increased the council’s salary, officials are proposing separate referenda to increase the mayor’s and council members’ salaries.

Read the story from the Gazette

Volunteers are collecting signatures for a petition to hold a referendum on a new law expanding the use of speed cameras in the state. The first round containing 1/3 of the 53,000 needed signatures must be turned in one week from Sunday. The petition drive leader is optimistic that the effort will succeed.

Read the story from WBAL-TV

Gov. O’Malley also signed a bill that authorizes the use of speed monitoring cameras around
the state. Opponents of the new law are attempting to challenge it through a statewide referendum initiative.

Read the story at Maryland Daily Record

Organizers of an effort to overturn speed camera legislation in Maryland say they’ve had to resubmit their petition for a referendum.

Read the story from the Examiner

Back in December, the Maryland Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision that mandated signatures on referendum petitions exactly mirror signatures on voter registration cards. So, if someone is registered as “John Paul Smith” but signs a petition “John P. Smith” or “John Smith” then his signature is not counted. Dubbed the “mirror law”, referendum process supporters have charged that it makes it impossible to mount a successful referendum campaign in the state.

Signatures for a referendum aimed at blocking the expansion of a grocery store were thrown out under a new interpretation of signature requirements. In December the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled in Jane Doe v. the Montgomery County Board of Elections that voters must sign a referendum petition with the exact name they used on their voter registration, including their middle name or initial. Proponents of the referendum have critized the Court’s decistion and are attempting to ressurrect the effort.


Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous

By 1900, reformers had organized a Maryland Direct Legislation
League, with A. G. Eichelberger as its president. Ten years later the
League claimed “more than 1,000 active, working members.” In 1914, the
League promoted an I&R bill sponsored by State Senator William J. Odgen
of Baltimore, but the legislature amended it to remove the initiative
provision. This “referendum only” amendment passed both houses in 1915
and was ratified by the voters. The following year the League pressed the


Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous

State Balloting Process

Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous

Article XIV
Sec. 1.
The General Assembly may propose amendments to this Constitution;
provided that each amendment shall be embraced in a separate bill,
embodying the Article or Section, as the same will stand when amended
and passed by three-fifths of all the members elected to each of the two
Houses, by yeas and nays, to be entered on the Journals with the
proposed amendment. The requirement in this section that an
amendment proposed by the General Assembly shall be embraced in a

Ballot Qualifications & Schedule

Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous