AP News Guide: Election Day 2020 in Maryland
By BRIAN WITTE Associated Press
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — While many Maryland voters have already mailed in their ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic or voted in person at early voting centers, more than 427,000 people voted on Tuesday. They were voicing their choices for president and the state’s eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives at the polls. Voters also are weighing in on two statewide ballot questions with significant financial ramifications.
Here’s a look at what’s at stake in Maryland this Election Day:
Democrat Joe Biden, of neighboring Delaware, defeated Republican President Donald Trump to win Maryland’s 10 electoral votes in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1. Trump has been unpopular in Maryland, where even Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has distanced himself from the president. In 2016, Trump received 34% of the vote in Maryland. A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won Maryland in 32 years. George H.W. Bush was the last to do so in 1988. Trump made national headlines last year when he described a Maryland district that includes a large portion of Baltimore as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
Democrats hold seven of Maryland’s eight U.S. House seats. Rep. Kweisi Mfume, a Democrat, is running for a full term after winning an April special election to fill a vacancy created by the death of Elijah Cummings last year. Mfume is running against Republican Kimberly Klacik, whose campaign has been supported by the president. The district includes an area of Baltimore and parts of two nearby counties. Maryland’s lone Republican, Andy Harris, is running for reelection against Democrat Mia Mason in a district that includes all of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Democrat David Trone is running for a second term against Republican Neil Parrott, a state legislator, in the district that stretches from Montgomery County through western Maryland. Incumbents are running in the state’s other five congressional districts.
Voters are deciding whether to legalize sports betting in Maryland. Details on where sports wagering would be allowed and whether to allow it online would be decided later by state lawmakers, if voters approve. Legislation approved by the General Assembly to put sports betting on the ballot requires that the state would spend its proceeds primarily on education.
Voters will determine whether the Maryland General Assembly should have more power over the state’s budget process. The constitutional amendment would allow the legislature to increase, decrease or add items to the budget, as long as the changes don’t exceed the total proposed by the governor. For more than 100 years, when Maryland’s governor has submitted the state budget to the General Assembly each January, lawmakers have only been able to cut from the proposal.
There will be fewer locations to vote on Election Day than in a normal, non-pandemic year. Instead of walking to their local elementary school, people who choose to vote on Election Day might have to drive to their local high school or community center. The Maryland State Board of Elections has provided a list of places people can vote Tuesday on its website.
It’s the first time Maryland has had same-day voter registration on the day of the general election, since a constitutional amendment was approved in 2018 allowing it. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.