Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and the Maryland Congressional Delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen along with Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, today applauded Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson (D) and Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones (D) for holding joint hearings about Maryland’s June 2 primary election. The hearings will examine the election’s shortcomings and outline steps to enhance the state’s election systems ahead of November.
The Members also pledged to work to provide additional federal support to ensure that Marylanders can participate in free, fair and safe elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Your inquiry, inclusive of input from the Maryland State Board of Elections (‘SBE’) and its staff, as well as local election boards, will reveal what worked and what did not,” the lawmakers said. “It will ensure that Maryland is able to conduct the November election with the confidence that every voter will have access to the ballot box and that every vote cast will be counted.”
The lawmakers continued: “At the federal level, we are working to ensure additional support for election preparedness. Already, Congress has provided states and local governments with an initial $400 million in emergency election security grants, dispersed on a per capita basis to the states and United States territories. Maryland, as you know, was eligible for $7,452,501 in supplemental assistance.”
The lawmakers concluded: “As Congress considers additional measures to respond to the voting challenges presented by the COVID19 outbreak, it is critical to understand the obstacles that state and local election officials face and how we can work together to overcome them…. Maryland voters, and Americans across the country, deserve and expect free, fair and safe elections. We must deliver.”