OSU Navigation Bar

Election Law @ Moritz Home Page

Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz

2008 Key Questions for Key States


The complete research by Election Law @ Moritz for Maryland can be found below.

Institutional Arrangements

State Chief Election Authorities

Bipartisan appointed board

Chief election authority: State Board of Elections. § 2-101.

Method of selection: Appointed by governor. § 2-101. The Board consists of five members, at least two of which must be from each major political party.

Current officer: N/A (Last updated 1/1/08)

State High Court Composition

D heavy/elected

Method of selection: Gubernatorial appointment with advice and consent of Senate. Const. Art. IV, § 14.

Justices: Robert M. Bell (D), Irma S. Raker (appointed by D), Dale Cathell (retired, appointed by D), Glenn T. Harrell, Jr. (appointed by D), Lynne A. Battaglia (D), Clayton Greene, Jr. (D), Joseph F. Murphy, Jr. (appointed by D) (Last updated 12/22/07)


  • American Judicature Society, Judicial Selection in the States: Maryland
  • Guv’s Labor’s Lost on Legislature, Baltimore Sun, July 24, 1997.
  • U.S. took carjack case only at Norris’ request, Baltimore Sun, January 31, 2002.
  • Six senators walk out on speech, Baltimore Sun, February 19, 2005.
  • Gov. O’Malley Swears in Murphy to Court of Appeals, US State News, December 17, 2007.

Voter Registration

EL@M did not research this topic for Maryland


EL@M did not research this topic for Maryland

Provisional Ballots

EL@M did not research this topic for Maryland

Early and Absentee Voting

EL@M did not research this topic for Maryland

Voting Technology

EL@M did not research this topic for Maryland

Polling Place Operations

Polling hours extension


Maryland polls are required to be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. MD Code 10-301. Maryland law provides that the governor may postpone an election if he or she declares an emergency. MD Code 8-103. The law also provides an avenue for local or state officials to petition a circuit court to take action necessary to deal with circumstances that do not necessarily rise to the level of official state emergency but require some remedy to protect the public interest. No cases were found on the issue of polling hours extension. Courts have extended polling hours in the past but there was not extensive litigation challenging such extensions. Extended polling hours concern election officials, Cumberland Times News, Feb. 2008. http://www.times-news.com/local/local_story_045085353.html; Poll Hours Extended for Md. Voters, The Washington Post, Sept. 2006 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/12/AR2006091201796.html

Voters in line at the close of polls may vote. MD Code, Election Law, s 10-301.

Polling place closing times - local times

8:00 PM local time

Polling place closing times - by Eastern time zone

8:00 PM Eastern time

Ballot Security

EL@M did not research this topic for Maryland

Emergency Preparedness

EL@M did not research this topic for Maryland

Post-Election Processes

What Court Would Hear a Presidential Contest?

Trial Court

Maryland law generally authorizes election contests. M.C.A. Election Law § 12-202. Contests are decided by the local circuit courts, a type of trial court. Circuit court judges are elected in Maryland. Md. Const., Art. IV, § 5.  

Who Performs Presidential recounts?


Local boards of election conduct all recounts. 12-106. Each board has three regular members and two substitute members. 2-201. Two of the regular members and one substitute member are from the majority party, and one regular member and one substitute member are from the principal minority party. Id. Local board members are appointed by the governor and affirmed by the Senate. 2-201.