Author: NAACP | Date: 26 June 2018
BALTIMORE--June 28, 2018-- The Maryland State Conference of the NAACP is demanding answers and solutions in light of the Maryland motor-voter registration update fiasco. The leadership of the Motor Vehicle Administration and the Board of Elections must immediately demonstrate that they have the capacity to accurately explain the size and impact of the problem and fix this violation of the public trust or they must make room for leaders who are able to restore confidence in Maryland elections,” said Rev. Kobi Little, a spokesman for the NAACP's Maryland State Conference President, Gerald Stansbury.
The state of Maryland has failed voters because the state Motor Vehicle Administration failed to transmit updated voter information to the state Board of Elections and in turn, stifled voters' ability to exercise the franchise. “To solve this problem we first have to be sure that we are receiving accurate information about the problem and have the complete scope of the problem. It is hard to find credibility in the idea that the scope of the problem was woefully understated because state officials were rushing to alert affected voters,” explained Rev. Little.
The NAACP Maryland State Conference insists that the government of Maryland clearly explain:
How many voters were actually affected and why the public should have confidence in the State's assessment?
Why the State of Maryland was so slow in identifying and reporting the problem?
How it plans to correct the bungled updates?
How it plans to prevent this catastrophe from happening in advance of the November election and all other future elections?
It is also important for the people of Maryland to know how this snafu impacted the primary elections. To this end we must be told how many of the impacted voters cast provisional ballots and what percentage of them had their votes completely suppressed.We know all too well that these types of errors create confusion, lead to suppressed turnout, and place the integrity of our system in question. Elections have consequences so any barriers to voting hurt our fundamental democratic rights and that is unacceptable. This is why we need provoter reforms that ensure every eligible voter is able to cast their own ballot.
What we are fighting for is simple:
•Sound solutions to Maryland's motor-voter update flaws
•A Federal fix to ensure the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is restored
•An inclusive, pro-voter election system in Maryland that includes:
•Voter registration modernization (automatic and online voter registration)
•Election Day (same day) registration
•No-explanation absentee voting
•Quickly and easily amendable ballots for instances when candidates are disqualified from remaining on the ballot
•Transparency (effective notice to the public about changes)
•An end to photo ID and other suppression policies and tactics
The vote is the sacred American franchise bequeathed by the signers of the Constitution to each citizen. The State of Maryland has an obligation to protect its citizens' confidence in that franchise and their ability to effectively exercise that franchise. Therefore, we urge immediate action in the public's interest.