On Tuesday, a Maryland State Senate Committee held a hearing on a bill to create a process for special elections in Maryland to fill legislative vacancies. Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr testified in support of the bill alongside the bill’s sponsor Vice Chair Cheryl Kagan, the League of Women Voters of Maryland, Common Cause Maryland and Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee member.
Under Maryland’s current system, vacancies in the General Assembly are filled by candidates forwarded by elected party central committees to the governor for approval. Overall, 23 percent of current legislators serving in the Maryland General Assembly were not originally elected to their seats.
“We’d be joining 28 other states who have figured out how to handle special elections,” said Maryland PIRG director Emily Scarr in the hearing.
In a fall Gonzales poll, a full 85% of Marylanders favor having a special election to fill legislative vacancies; only 13% favor continuing the practice of having local political party leaders fill vacancies.
See the Campaign
Modernize The Vote