The Dundalk Eagle : 2020-08-06

SCHOOL NEWS : 25 : 25

SCHOOL NEWS

August 6, 2020 The Dundalk Eagle Page 25 Hogan demands action from State Board of Elections on mail-in voting Governor Larry Hogan today sent a letter to the State Board of Elections (SBE) demanding an update within 48 hours on the status of mail-in voting and polling places for the November 3 general election. With the State Board of Elections unable to reach consensus on a plan, the November 3 election is occurring under existing state law, which allows Marylander­s to vote by mail, take part in early voting, or cast their ballot in person on Election Day if they choose to do so. This is consistent with CDC guidelines, which recommend giving voters a variety of choices during the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 10, to help enhance voting options, the governor directed the State Board of Elections to promptly send mail-in ballot applicatio­ns to voters. The administra­tion has also begun actively encouragin­g state employees and college students to serve as election judges. “I am now giving SBE 48 hours to report to me, the Board of Public Works, the Secretary of State, the presiding officers of the Maryland General Assembly, and the public explaining why those applicatio­ns have not been mailed to Marylander­s,” wrote Governor Hogan. “In addition, we expect you to provide your plan for how to conduct the election under existing law, including the minimum number of polling places that you will be able to open in each county.” Read the governor’s letter here. In the letter, the governor expresses serious concerns about polling places being closed, particular­ly in minority communitie­s. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 explicitly prohibits “deny[ing] or abridg[ing] the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” Section 1983 prohibits depriving any person “of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constituti­on and laws.” Appeals court revives challenge to Maryland gun laws Maryland’s handgun licensing law, passed in 2013, which requires gun purchasers to complete four hours of safety training in addition to passing background checks, being 21 years old and a Mar yland resident. The case was initially dismissed because the plaintiffs, including the advocacy group Maryland Shall Issue, lacked standing to sue. But Monday’s ruling determined that one of the plaintiffs — Atlantic Guns, which operates shops in Rockville and Silver Spring — had standing to sue. The gun shop had argued that it lost business because of the rules and that its customers suffered under the licensing scheme. The case now goes back to district court for a trial on the merits. The opinion was written by Judge G. Steven Agee and joined by judges Julius Richardson and Barbara Milano Keenan. Agee and Richardson were appointed by Republican presidents, while Keenan was appointed by a Democrat. Mark Pennak, president of Maryland Shall Issue, said he is pleased with the ruling and not at all surprised after witnessing oral arguments and seeing the appellate judges’ skepticism about the district court’s ruling. He said the licensing requiremen­ts add hundreds of dollars in costs and significan­t amounts of time to acquire a license. “It’s an astonishin­g burden,” he said. Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoma­n for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, said the ruling is under review and declined further comment Monday. The requiremen­t for training applies to handguns, not hunting rifles or shotguns. The 2013 law that passed in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticu­t in December 2012 was one of the nation’s toughest. Other parts of the law, including a ban on certain types of rifles and highcapaci­ty magazines, have faced separate challenges but have been upheld. By MATTHEW BARAKAT Associated Press — A federal appeals court on Monday revived a lawsuit challengin­g Maryland’s rules for obtaining a handgun as unconstitu­tionally restrictiv­e. The unanimous ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond reinstates the lawsuit, which was first filed in 2016 and tossed out of court by a federal judge last year. The lawsuit challenges FALLS CHURCH, VA. 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