More than 70 election-related bills have been proposed this year during the Maryland General Assembly’s legislative session in Annapolis. Sen. Cheryl Kagan, D-Montgomery, alone has eight. Such a bounty of bills begs the question: What exactly are lawmakers looking to change?
“Maryland already has excellent elections,” said Kagan, sponsor of a bill called the Election Reform Act of 2023, S.B. 864, during a Feb. 24 hearing on one of her elections bills. “In no way, do I want to imply that we are having problems, that there’s anything about accuracy or diligence, or inclusion or anything. It’s just about small details that will allow us to make our election system even better.”
One legislative effort looks to put something that has already been occurring — the pre-processing of mail-in ballots by election workers — into law.
“Maryland is unique in the nation in that our laws and our regs don’t allow processing mail in ballots until after Election Day,” said Kagan, in an interview in her office after the bill hearing. In 2020, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan issued a proclamation during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow for canvassing prior to the November Election Day to handle the deluge of mail-in ballots.
Sen. Cheryl C. Kagan (D–17) has served in the Maryland Senate since 2015, where her energy, dedication, and experience in all sectors– public, private, and nonprofit– have made her an effective advocate for the residents of Gaithersburg and Rockville.