Congratulations to Bridget Donnell Newton, Monique Ashton, Beryl L. Feinberg, David Myles and Mark Pierzchala, who were elected as Rockville’s Mayor and Council for 2019-2023. Ashton and Myles will bring new perspectives to the Council, both being under 50 years old and people of color.
Just as important is the tremendous turnout for the election. A total of 12,213 ballots were cast in this election, versus 6,468 cast in 2015. The number of votes cast increased by 88.82% between 2015 and 2019. It validates the efforts by the Mayor and Council and the Board of Supervisors of Elections (BOSE) to increase turnout and reverse the downward trend of previous elections by adopting vote-by-mail. Although used in many other states, this is the first time this type of voting has been adopted in Maryland, so I’m sure many other jurisdictions will be asking Rockville for more information. A big thanks to BOSE, the City Clerk’s office, and the city’s Communications department for planning and executing this complex project.
An inauguration ceremony for the new Mayor and Council will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 17 at F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Drive. The inauguration is free and open to the public.
The first meeting of the new Mayor and Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, November 18 at City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave.
Maryland’s first vote-by-mail election ends today at 8:00 p.m. in Rockville in an effort to encourage more people to vote. Rockville’s voter turnout has declined regardless of the number of candidates or ballot questions, from 16.94% of registered voters in 2011 to 16.51% in 2013 and 15.87% in 2015, when the city held its first election to four-year terms. (Previously, Rockville’s elections were held every two years.)
In April 2018, Rockville’s Mayor and Council voted unanimously to follow the Board of Supervisors of Elections’ recommendation to implement vote-by-mail for the fall 2019 election. At least 22 states allow elections to be conducted by mail. Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, and some counties in California, hold elections entirely by mail.Continue reading →
The City of Rockville recently determined that some of the campaign contribution limits in the Election Code are unconstitutional. It’s a bit confusing, so here’s the official notice from the City Clerk:
The Board of Supervisors of Elections wants to let you know that the Mayor and Council introduced an ordinance this past Monday, September 9, 2019, that, if adopted, would amend Section 8-78 of Chapter 8, “Elections,” of the City Code to delete the $2,000 limit on total contributions in an election cycle in subsections (d) and (e). A total contribution limit has been found by the United States Supreme Court to be unconstitutional in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. While the total contribution limit is unconstitutional, the limit of contributions to an individual or a campaign committee of $1,000 is constitutional and that limit remains in full force and effect. While the ordinance introduced by the Mayor and Council on September 9 has not yet been adopted, the Board wants you to know that the $2,000 total contribution limit is unenforceable and will not be enforced.Email from Sara Taylor-Ferrell, “Notice From Rockville Board of Supervisors of Elections – Contributions,” September 13, 2019.
For context, the Election Code reads (text recently eliminated is struck through) :Continue reading →