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As everyone is aware, Hurricane Sandy hit Maryland hard. This has no doubt resulted in many people who had intended to early vote or absentee vote not being able to do so. Because of this, Governor Martin O'Malley issued two executive orders which extend early voting and absentee voting.
In the Absentee ballot order, Governor O'Malley extended the deadline for receipt of absentee ballot applications to October 31, 2012 (the original deadline was October 30, 2012)
In the early voting order, Governor O'Malley not only added an extra day of early voting (Friday, November 2nd) but he has also extended the hours for early voting by extending the early voting hours to 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday October 31st, Thursday November 1st and Friday, November 2nd. (the original hours were 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.). This extension of hours makes it easier for Maryland residents to early vote before and after work.
In a time when many governors are trying to suppress the vote, I find it refreshing that Governor O'Malley is interested in making it easier for Maryland residents to vote. The below quotation from the absentee voting executive order makes it clear that Governor O'Malley values the right of Maryland citizens to vote.
WHEREAS,. . .
A State of Emergency has been declared throughout the State of Maryland in recognition of the danger posed by Hurricane Sandy and related weather systems;
The current State of Emergency has interfered with the early voting process . . . suspended and delayed the delivery of mail; and otherwise interfered with preparations for the 2012 election season;
Delays in the mail delivery system may cause applications for an absentee ballot to be received by election boards after the deadline on Tuesday, October 30, 2012;
It is in the interests of the State of Maryland and the electoral process to extend the deadline for receipt of absentee ballot applications so that applications received on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 will be deemed timely . . .