State lawmaker wants state of emergency declared to begin canvassing mail-in ballots before early voting starts

June 2, 2022

WBAL News Radio 

Written by Robert Lang

A state lawmaker wants Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency ahead of next month’s primary election.

Montgomery County Democratic Sen. Cheryl Kagan is asking Hogan to declare a state of emergency to allow the canvassing but not counting of mail-in ballots to begin eight days before early voting starts. That was the exact language in one of two bills sponsored by Kagan that Hogan vetoed last week.

Kagan said that now that her bills have been vetoed, election returns will be delayed, with mail-in ballots not being counted until primary election day.

She said that may delay preparing the general election ballot and getting it to overseas and military voters and that would violate federal law.

The Director of Communications for Hogan, Michael Ricci released a statement to WBAL NewsRadio on Thursday. Ricci said the approach was overreached by Kagan and is now at risk.

“The governor strongly supports early voting, voting by mail and early canvassing—all of which was important during the 2020 election—but unfortunately Sen. Kagan overreached and put our successful approach at risk, Ricci said. “The legislature just dropped the ball on this one.”

WBAL-TV contributed to this report.