She also addresses voting security.
Frederick, Md. (KM) In addition to the candidates for President, House of Representatives, the US Senate and the Board of Education, Frederick County voters will also decide on two ballot questions when they head to the polls.
During her public information briefing on Thursday, County Executive Jan Gardner urged citizens to approve Question A, which requires the Council to provide a four-days notice on the County website of a second public hearing if a bill has been revised. “The amendment and language in Question A only comes into play if the Council makes a change to a bill after that initial public hearing,” she said. “If Question A passes, the Council could be more responsive to public feedback by holding a second public hearing the follow week.”
Gardner noted that when the county had a commissioner form of government, it held public hearings on bills. But if changes were made after the hearing, there was no requirement that the Commissioners hold a second public hearing. She says they often adopted the legislation after making changes.
The County Executive also asked residents to approve Question B, which has two parts. One would extend the deadline for the Council to adopt the budget from May 25th to May 31st. Council Vice President MC Keegan-Ayer said the current deadline puts she and her colleagues in a bind. “That was, we thought, extremely limiting for the Council, and it was very constraining for them to really drill down in many categories in the budget, and to make the changes they thought they would like to make,” she said.
The second part of Question B requires the Council to hold a second hearing on the budget if a change was made after the initial hearing. Gardner said a two-day notice would be given through the county’s website.
On another topic, the County Executive discussed the recent concerns raised across the country about the possible hacking of the election process in order to affect the outcome. “The election system is secure. There’s been a lot of concern expressed about that recently. But since it’s never connected to the Internet, no one can ever hack into it through the Interent,” she said.
“All votes are also made on paper ballots because we returned to a system with paper ballots,” says Gardner. “So that means there’s paper ballots available if there is a need to have a recount or to certify an election. It can be done be recounting the paper ballots.”
The general election day is Tuesday, November 8th. Early voting begins on Thursday, October 27th and continues through Thursday, November 3rd. The hours will be from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM each day at the Frederick Senior Center, the Thurmont Regional Library, the Urbana Regional Library and the Middletown Fire Department Activities Building.
By Kevin McManus