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Maryland AG accuses governor of 'bowing' to Trump's 'reckless demands' with in-person election order

Emily Opilo, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in News & Features

BALTIMORE -- Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said Friday that Gov. Larry Hogan's plan to hold a traditional election in November without automatically mailing ballots to all voters will have "devastating consequences."

Frosh, a Democrat, issued a statement saying the state remains in the middle of a pandemic that is "burning out of control."

He accused the governor, a Republican, of "bowing to (President) Donald Trump's reckless demands."

"In Maryland, more than 3,250 lives have already been lost," he said. "Requiring voters to appear in person to cast their ballots unnecessarily puts voters' lives and the lives of poll workers at risk."

Frosh's statement came two days after Hogan ordered a traditional Election Day in the fall. Hogan's plan calls for all of Maryland's 1,600 polling places to open, as well as early voting locations. All voters would be mailed an application for an absentee ballot, and would only receive ballots by mail if they request them.

Frosh said Hogan's decision threatened to suppress the votes of hundreds of thousands of state residents and endanger thousands of election workers. Baltimore City will need more than 4,000 people, and Anne Arundel County will require 3,000, he said.

 

Frosh said the governor should "immediately reverse course and authorize a vote-by-mail election."

Hogan's spokesman, Mike Ricci, said Frosh's proposal would suppress voters, not the governor's.

"Brian Frosh is now suggesting that we ignore our election laws, limit options for voters and suppress the vote by closing polling precincts. We will do none of that," Ricci said. "We will follow the law, and actively encourage early voting, absentee voting by mail, and voting at off-peak times as safe and efficient options for voters."

Because Maryland remains in a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor has the authority to dictate how elections in the state are run.

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