Tag: election

This Week in Research: Apolitical College Students; Fat Pregnant Rats

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In this series, we look at the newest findings coming out of our area’s top research universities. We’ve got some great minds in Baltimore — let’s learn what they’re learning!

A presidential election is a big deal, needless to say… except, that is, in the minds of today’s college students.

Maryland’s November Ballot Deceptively Written

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Seven statewide ballot questions for Maryland this November promise to promise to give your reading comprehension skills a workout. They total over 700 words. And let’s say they’re not terribly clear.

Maryland: The Referendum State

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If you haven’t voted in a while, you’ll have the chance to really get your fill this November. In addition to electing the president, one senator, and our entire slate of representatives in the House, Marylanders will consider three constitutional amendments (concerning Orphans’ Court judge qualifications and circumstances under which an elected official may be removed from office), and veto referendums on in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants (who meet certain criteria), same-sex marriage, and now, likely, the state’s gerrymandered congressional districts.

Maryland hasn’t seen a veto referendum since 1992. The rules haven’t changed (you need a number of signatures equal to three percent of voter turnout in the last gubernatorial election — right now that’s 55,736), but as Republicans have discovered, the Internet has made the signatures much easier to collect.

Judge to Allow Conspiracy Defense in Henson Robocall Trial

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The election-fraud trial of political consultant Julius Henson — who is in trouble over a robocall that went out on Election Day in 2010 apparently designed to keep black voters from going to the polls — is underway. And his attorney is planning to argue that Henson would not have been indicted had he not begun working for a Republican, namely Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

It’s kind of a difficult hypothetical, since it seems much more certain that he would not have authorized fraudulent robocalls intended to suppress the black vote had he not been working for a Republican.

Either way, the judge has decided to allow the it’s-a-conspiracy! defense to play out, so it ought to be a pretty interesting trial (I’m predicting a couple “No, you’re out of order!” moments).

Now, I have never been accused of possessing a prodigious legal mind, but it seems to me like a losing argument from the start. Will Henson’s attorney really be able to portray a vindictive Democratic conspiracy vast enough and insidious enough to overshadow — even nullify — what appears to be a clear-cut case of voter suppression?

“Americans Elect” Brings New-Fangled Ideas About Presidential Elections to Maryland

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Yesterday, a novel, twenty-first century presidential nominating mechanism known as Americans Elect submitted over 18,000 signatures to the Maryland State Board of Elections yesterday to make some room on the ballot for whomever the nonpartisan group runs for president.

Americans Elect, whose website calls it “the first nonpartisan presidential nomination,” is pursuing a vision of an electoral process that avoids the party primaries, and instead allows voters to sign up as delegates, rank your personal political priorities, peruse a long list of presidential hopefuls, and even throw your hat into the ring yourself.

It may sound far fetched, but the non-profit is well funded and fairly well organized. It’ll be interesting to see how much attention it gets statewide as well as nationally, and it certainly would be nice for our candidates for president to receive a nomination without owing too many favors, and without couching all of their opinions in partisan ideology.

Americans Elect holds its online caucuses in May, with three separate rounds of balloting.

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