Testimony: Election Reform Act of 2021

Today we testified in support of SB831, introduced by Sen. Kagan, to improve the administration of our elections systems.

Today we testified in support of SB831, introduced by Sen. Kagan, to improve the administration of our elections systems. You can read our testimony here.  There are some aspects of the bill that we have not taken a position on related to party affiliation and voting.

This bill includes policies responding to increased usage of early voting and voting by mail. These include: allowing voters to fix mistakes on their mail-in ballot request forms, continuing to provide drop boxes that voters can place their mail-in ballots in, extending the operating hours of early vote centers, and creating a curing process for mail-in ballots. 

This bill also increases the amount of clear and transparent information provided to voters by increasing both the amount of information the State Board of Elections provides about its meetings and by mandating more debates between candidates running for office.

Finally the bill makes adjustments to elections administration that increase voter privacy and function of our elections by expanding use of privacy sleeves, enabling early processing of ballots and requiring precinct level reporting.

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Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG

Emily directs strategy, organizational development, research, communications and legislative advocacy for Maryland PIRG. Emily has helped win small donor public financing in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County. She has played a key role in establishing new state laws to to protect public health by restricting the use of antibiotics on Maryland farms, require testing for lead in school drinking water and restrict the use of toxic flame retardant and PFAS chemicals. Emily also serves on the Executive Committees of the Maryland Fair Elections Coalition and the Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working. Emily lives in Baltimore City with her husband, kids, and dog.

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