State of Maryland

Maryland Mail-in Ballot Counting

In Re: Petition For Emergency Remedy by the Maryland State Board of Elections

Lawsuit filed by Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) on behalf of the Maryland State Board of Elections seeking emergency relief to allow all local boards of canvassers to “meet and to open envelopes, canvass, and tabulate mail-in ballots no earlier than 8:00 a.m. on October 1, 2022.” Currently, Maryland election law “[f]orbids the opening of any mail-in ballot envelope” before 8 a.m. on the Wednesday following Election Day. Maryland is the “only state with such a restriction.” The board notes that the influx of mail-in ballots and the limitation on when they can be counted “caused cascading issues through the local and statewide canvassing and certification process” during the 2022 primary election. The board seeks emergency relief suspending the law that forbids opening ballots prior to 8 a.m. on Wednesday following Election Day to prevent a delayed certification for the 2022 election. This relief has been sought before; according to the complaint, “[t]his is the same relief permitted by gubernatorial executive order during the 2020 election cycle, when election workers were permitted to open and canvass mail-in ballots on October 1, 2020, at 8:00 a.m., 25 days before the beginning of the early voting period.” The Republican gubernatorial candidate, Dan Cox, intervened in the lawsuit, arguing “that the court did not have the power to intervene, saying the authority to change the rule rests with the General Assembly,” invoking the radical independent state legislature theory. On Sept. 23, the granted the state boards’ requested relief. On Sept. 26, GOP candidate Daniel Cox appealed the decision.

Case Documents

Case Documents (APPELLATE court)

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