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AN ACT CONCERNING

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Election Law Voting Absentee Voting Permanent Absentee Voter

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List

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FOR the purpose of establishing a permanent absentee voter list to be maintained

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by local Boards of Elections; establishing that registered voters who are enrolled

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on the permanent absentee voter list are to be automatically sent an absentee

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ballot for every subsequent primary and general election during which those

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voters are enrolled on that list; establishing qualifications for enrollment on the

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permanent absentee voter list; establishing the procedure used to review and

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either accept or reject an application for enrollment on the permanent absentee

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voter list; requiring local Boards of Elections to distribute absentee ballots to

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those voters who are enrolled on the permanent absentee voter list a certain

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number of days before each Election Day; establishing the method by which a

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voter applies to be enrolled on the permanent absentee voter list; establishing the

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methods by which a voter may be removed from the permanent absentee voter

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list; requiring the State Board of Elections to issue guidelines concerning the

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maintenance of permanent absentee voter lists; providing for the severability of

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invalid provisions or applications of this Act; and repealing inconsistent laws.

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BY repealing and re-enacting, with amendments

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Article Election Law

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Section 9. Voting

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Subtitle 3. Absentee Voting

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Section 9-302, 9-303, and 9-305

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BY repealing and re-enacting, without amendments

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Article Election Law

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Section 9. Voting

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Subtitle 3. Absentee Voting

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Section 9-306

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BY adding to,

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Article Election Law

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Section 9. Voting

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Subtitle 3. Absentee Voting

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Section 9-313. Permanent absentee voter list

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SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE MARYLAND STUDENT

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LEGISLATURE, That the Laws of Maryland read as follows:

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Article Election Law

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Section 9. Voting

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Subtitle 3. Absentee Voting

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§ 9-302. Documentation by local boards

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Each local board shall maintain a full record of absentee voting in the county,

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including, for each absentee voter:

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(1) the date and time of the board's receipt of an application for an

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absentee ballot;

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(2) the action taken with regard to the application;

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(3) the appropriate ballot style;

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(4) the date of issuance of a ballot;

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(5) if mailed, the address to which the ballot is sent;

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(6) the date and time of the receipt of a voted absentee ballot; and

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(7) WHETHER THE VOTER IS ON THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE

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VOTER LIST, AS ESTABLISHED UNDER § 9-313 OF THIS

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ARTICLE; AND,

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(7) any other information specified by the State Board.

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§ 9-303. Guidelines

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(a) Established by State Board. -- The State Board shall establish guidelines for

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the administration of absentee voting by the local boards.

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(b) Content. -- The guidelines shall provide for:

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(1) the application process;

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(2) late application for absentee ballots;

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(3) MAINTENANCE OF PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LISTS,

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AS ESTABLISHED UNDER § 9-313 OF THIS ARTICLE;

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(3) (4) ballot security, including storage of returned ballots;

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(4) (5) determining timeliness of receipt of applications and ballots,

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including applications and ballots for overseas voters;

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(5) (6) the canvass process;

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(6) (7) notice of the canvass to candidates, political parties, campaign

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organizations, news media, and the general public;

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(7) (8) observers of the process;

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(8) (9) review of voted ballots and envelopes for compliance with the law

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and for machine tabulation acceptability;

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(9) (10) standards for disallowance of ballots during the canvass; and

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(10) (11) storage and retention of ballots following canvass and

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certification.

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(c) Periodic assessment and revision of guidelines. -- The State Board

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shall:

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(1) in consultation with the local boards, assess the guidelines

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before each primary election; and

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(2) revise the guidelines if indicated.

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§ 9-305. Applications for absentee ballot

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(a) Application. -- An application for an absentee ballot, signed by the voter, may

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be made:

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(1) on a form produced by the local board and supplied to the voter;

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(2) on a form provided under federal law; or

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(3) in a written request that includes:

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(i) the voter's name and residence address; and

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(ii) the address to which the ballot is to be mailed, if different from

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the residence address.

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(b) Deadline for receipt of application. -- Except for a late application under

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subsection (c) of this section, an application for an absentee ballot must be

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received by a local board not later than the Tuesday preceding the election, at the

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time specified in the guidelines.

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(c) Late application. --

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(1) Beginning on the Wednesday preceding the election, through the

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closing of the polls on election day, a registered voter or the voter's duly

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authorized agent may apply in person for an absentee ballot at the office of

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the local board.

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(2) A special application for an absentee ballot issued under this

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subsection shall be supplied by the staff of the local board to the voter or

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the voter's duly authorized agent.

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(3) The application shall be made under penalty of perjury but without a

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formal oath.

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(4) After review of the application, the staff shall issue an absentee ballot

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to the voter or the voter's duly authorized agent.

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(D) OPTION TO ENROLL ON THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST.

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-- AN APPLICATION FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT THAT IS PROVIDED

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UNDER SUBSECTION (A)(1) OF THIS SECTION SHALL PROVIDE TO A

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VOTER THE OPTIONS TO:

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(1) APPLY FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT ONLY FOR THE NEXT

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ELECTION;

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(2) APPLY TO ENROLL ON THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER

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LIST, AS ESTABLISHED UNDER § 9-313 OF THIS ARTICLE;

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(3) CHANGE THE ADDRESS TO WHICH FUTURE ABSENTEE

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BALLOTS ARE TO BE SENT DUE TO THAT VOTER’S PRESENCE

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ON THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST; AND

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(4) REMOVE THAT VOTER FROM THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE

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VOTER LIST.

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§ 9-306. Review of application; issuance or rejection

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(a) Review of application. -- Promptly after receipt of an application, the election

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director shall review the application and determine whether the applicant qualifies

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to vote by absentee ballot.

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(b) Transmittal of ballot. -- If the applicant qualifies to vote by absentee ballot, the

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local board shall send the ballot:

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(1) as soon as practicable after receipt of the request; or

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(2) if the ballots have not been received from the printer, as soon as

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practicable after the local board receives delivery of the ballots.

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(c) Rejection of application. --

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(1) If the members of the local board determine that the applicant is not

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entitled to vote by absentee ballot, the local board shall notify the

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applicant as soon as practicable after receipt of the application of the 1

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reasons for the rejection.

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(2) (i) The local board may delegate the determination under paragraph (1)

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of this subsection to the staff of the local board.

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(ii) If the determination has been delegated, the applicant may

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appeal the rejection to the members of the local board, who shall

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decide the appeal as expeditiously as practicable.

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(d) Number of ballots issued to a voter. -- Not more than one absentee ballot may

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be issued to a voter unless the election director of the local board has reasonable

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grounds to believe that an absentee ballot previously issued to the voter has been

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lost, destroyed, or spoiled.

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§ 9-313. PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST

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(A) ESTABLISHED. EACH LOCAL BOARD SHALL MAINTAIN A

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PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST, WHICH SHALL CONSIST OF A

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LIST OF VOTERS REGISTERED WITHIN THAT BOARD’S JURISDICTION

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WHO HAVE INDICATED, THROUGH SUBMISSION OF A FORM ISSUED

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BY THAT BOARD AS PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (A)(1) OF § 9-305

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OF THIS ARTICLE, THAT THEY WISH TO RECEIVE AN ABSENTEE

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BALLOT FOR ALL FUTURE PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTIONS IN

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WHICH THAT VOTER IS QUALIFIED TO VOTE.

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(B) QUALIFICATIONS FOR ENROLLMENT ON THE PERMANENT

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ABSENTEE VOTER LIST. THE QUALIFICATIONS THAT A VOTER

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MUST FULFILL IN ORDER TO ENROLL ON THE PERMANENT

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ABSENTEE VOTER LIST SHALL BE THE SAME AS THOSE

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QUALIFICATIONS THAT A VOTER MUST FULFILL IN ORDER TO

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APPLY FOR AN INDIVIDUAL ABSENTEE BALLOT.

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(C) REVIEW OF APPLICATION; ENROLLMENT OR REJECTION. THE

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PROCEDURE USED TO REVIEW AN APPLICATION FOR ENROLLMENT

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ON THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST AND TO ENROLL THE

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APPLICANT OR TO REJECT AN APPLICATION FOR ENROLLMENT

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SHALL BE THE SAME AS THE PROCEDURE USED TO REVIEW AN

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APPLICATION FOR AN INDIVIDUAL ABSENTEE BALLOT, AS

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ESTABLISHED BY § 9-306 OF THIS ARTICLE.

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(C) PROVISION OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS. IN EVERY ELECTION THAT

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TAKES PLACE AFTER A VOTER’S ENROLLMENT ON THE PERMANENT

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ABSENTEE VOTER LIST, AN ABSENTEE BALLOT SHALL BE SENT TO

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THAT VOTER:

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(1) AT THE MAILING ADDRESS OF THAT VOTER, PROVIDED

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EITHER

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(I) ON THE VOTER’S APPLICATION TO ENROLL ON THE

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PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST, OR;

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(II) ON THE VOTER’S APPLICATION TO REGISTER TO

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VOTE, WHICHEVER ADDRESS WAS PROVIDED MORE

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RECENTLY; OR

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(2) AT THE PERMANENT ADDRESS OF THAT VOTER, IF

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NO OTHER MAILING ADDRESS HAS BEEN PROVIDED.

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(D) DISTRIBUTION OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS. VOTERS WHO HAVE

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BEEN ENROLLED ON THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST

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SHALL BE SENT AN ABSENTEE BALLOT 28 DAYS BEFORE ELECTION

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DAY BY THE LOCAL BOARDS.

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(E) REMOVAL FROM THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST. A

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VOTER WHO IS ENROLLED ON THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER

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LIST SHALL BE REMOVED FROM THAT LIST IF:

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(1) THAT VOTER IS NO LONGER QUALIFIED TO BE A

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REGISTERED VOTER UNDER PROVISIONS ESTABLISHED BY

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SUBSECTION (B) OF § 3-102 OF THIS ARTICLE;

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(2) THAT VOTER VOLUNTARILY APPLIES TO BE REMOVED

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FROM THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST, THROUGH

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SUBMISSION OF A FORM ISSUED BY THAT VOTER’S LOCAL

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BOARD AS PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (A)(1) OF § 9-305 OF

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THIS ARTICLE;

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(3) THAT VOTER, AFTER ENROLLMENT ON THE PERMANENT

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ABSENTEE VOTER LIST, REGISTERS TO VOTE AGAIN USING A

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DIFFERENT PERMANENT ADDRESS EITHER IN OR OUT OF THE

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STATE OF MARYLAND; OR,

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(4) THE VOTER IS DECEASED.

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(F) NOTIFICATION OF ENROLLMENT ON PERMANENT ABSENTEE

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VOTER LIST. IF A REGISTERED VOTER HAS BEEN ENROLLED ON

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THE PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER LIST, THE STATE BOARD OF

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ELECTIONS SHALL MAKE THAT VOTER’S ENROLLMENT STATUS

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VISIBLE ON ANY INTERNET DATABASE MAINTAINED BY THE STATE

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BOARD ON WHICH THOSE VOTERS MAY VIEW PERSONAL

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INFORMATION RELEVANT TO THEIR VOTER REGISTRATION AS SOON

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AS PRACTICABLE.

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SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That if any provision of this

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Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid for

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any reason in a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity does not affect other

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provisions or any other application of this Act which can be given effect without

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the invalid provision or application, and for provisions of this Act are declared

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severable.

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SECTION 3. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That all laws or parts of laws,

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public general or public local, inconsistent with this Act, are repealed to the extent

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of the inconsistency.

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SECTION 4. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall take effect

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January 1, 2014.

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MANDATES:

Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland

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John P. McDonough, Maryland Secretary of State

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Del. Sheila Ellis Hixson, Chair, House of Delegates

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Committee on Ways and Means

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Del. Jon S. Cardin, Chair, House of Delegates

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Subcommittee on Election Law

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Sen. Joan Carter Conway, Chair, Senate Committee on

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Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs

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Sen. Roy P. Dyson, Chair, Senate Subcommittee on Ethics

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and Election Law

SPONSOR:

Andy Jannett, Federalist Caucus Leader and State Political Liaison University of Maryland, College Park andy.jannett@gmail.com

COSPONSOR:

Brooke Parker, Lieutenant Governor University of Maryland, College Park