by Kate Shunney
Maryland voters have a long ballot in front of them this election cycle, and can begin casting votes onThursday, October 27 during Early Voting. In Washington County, registered voters have two locations in Hagerstown where they can vote early – at the Washington County Election Center at 17718 Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown and at Washington County Free Library at 100 S. Potomac Street in Hagerstown.
Voting in person during those times will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Early voting in Maryland will be held for eight days, starting on Thursday, October 27 and running through Thursday, November 3.
Voters who want to cast a ballot by mail have until November 1 to request a mail-in ballot. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked or placed in a designated ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 8. A ballot drop box is located in Hancock Town Hall at 126 West High Street.
Election day voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at assigned polling places. In Hancock, voters will go to the Hancock Middle-Senior High school at 289 West Main Street.
Five amendments on ballot
State voters are being asked to consider five proposed amendments to the Maryland constitution.
Question 1 is an amendment that would rename Maryland’ s appellate courts – changing the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court of Maryland, and the Court of Special Appeals to the Appellate Court of Maryland.
Question 2 would change the state constitution to add a requirement to the eligibility rules for someone to serve as a senator or delegate to the Maryland General Assembly. The proposed change would state that a candidate “must have resided in and maintained a primary place of abode in the district” for at least six months prior to the date of election. Currently, a candidate only has to reside in the district for six months before the election.
Question 3 would allow the General Assembly to change the threshold for someone to request a jury trial in a civil proceeding. It’ s being proposed that a jury trial could only be requested if the “amount in controversy” in the case is over $25,000. Currently, a person can request a jury trial if that amount is $15,000. Neither of those dollar figures includes legal fees.
Question 4 proposes legalization of adult use and possession of cannabis in Maryland for those over the age of 21.
Question 5 would change the structure of the court in Howard County, requiring that county’ s circuit judges to sit as the orphan’s court, rather than voters electing orphan’ s court judges. Orphans courts preside over the administration of estates.
Washington County voters will choose five County Commissioners from a slate of seven candidates during this election.
Five Republicans – John Barr, Jeffrey Cline, Derek Harvey, Wayne Keefer and Randall Wagner and two Democrats – Sterling Sanders and Dave Williams – are the ballot.
The only other contested race for county government office is for Washington County Sheriff. Republican Brian Albert is running against Democrat Junior McLeod.
Republican Lacy Flook is running for Register of the Wills against Democrat Jason Malott.
Candidates unopposed in their races are:
—Republican Gina Cirincion for State’s Attorney
—Republican Kevin Tucker for Clerk of the Circuit Court
—Joe Michael for Judge of the Circuit Court 4
—Republican Robert Breeding for Treasurer
—Republicans Paul Banister, Debra Breeding and Anthony Lowman for three seats as Judge of the Orphans’ Court.
A non-partisan race for three seats on the W ashington County Public Schools Board of Education includes six candidates – Frederick Chavis, Darrell Evans, Mike Guessford, Ethan Loewen, Linda Murray and Anthony Williams.
Federal & state races
The governor’s mansion in Maryland is up for grabs this November, with Larry Hogan leaving office at the end of the year. Republican Dan Cox, with running mate Gordana Schifanelli, are in a race against Democrat Wes Moore and Aruna Miller. The Libertarian ticket of David Lashar and Christiana Logansmith is up against the Green candidate Nancy Wallace and the Working Class Party candidate David Harding.
One of Maryland’s seats in the U.S. Senate is on the ballot. Democrat Chris Van Hollen is trying to hang onto his seat in a race against Republican Chris Chaffee.
Running for the House of Representatives in the 6th District – which includes all of Washington and Allegany counties – are Republican Neil Parrott and Democrat David Trone.
Delegate Mike McKay left behind the House of Delegates to seek the State Senator’s post for District 1, formerly held by Senator Edwards. McKay, a Republican, is running against Democrat Michael Dreisbach.
Vying for McKay’s seat in the House of Delegates are former Washington County Commissioners Terry Baker, a Republican, and Democrat Carrie Hinton. Green party candidate Charlotte McBreaty is also after the state seat.
Maryland’s Attorney General race is between Republican Michael Peroutka and Democrat Anthony Brown.