In 2020 under the shadow of the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the Sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment, this body of lawmakers is equipped to end a form of voter suppression in the State of Maryland that prevents upwards of 40,000 eligible voters from exercising their constitutional rights and participating in the selection of their elected officials.
Earlier this month in the house hearing representatives from Dept of Public Safety and Correctional Services made claims that passing this legislation would be too expensive and inconvenient to implement. While the same advocacy organization that implemented a pilot program disagrees with the assessment of cost, allowing expense and convenience to be at the center of this conversation can easily overshadow the voter suppression occurring within DPSCS.
These citizens of the United States of America and residents of the State of Maryland are being robbed of their voices. As their elected officials, it is your obligation to restore their ability to vote. A failure to act on this is akin to voter suppression in which this Senate will be complicit. The 2020 primary election is fast approaching, and we’ve already run out of time to enfranchise the tens of thousands of individuals who will remain voiceless in April. Do you plan to keep them gagged come November? If not, I urge you give SB372 a favorable report.