State Says No to Voter Intimidation


Voter intimidation is prohibited by federal law, as Joshua Runyan pointed out in the JT (“Getting Out the Vote,” Nov. 4). It’s also prohibited by Maryland law.

Flyers were distributed in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods urging people to vote on the Thursday after Election Day in 2004. They also  implied that you couldn’t vote if you owed rent or had overdue parking tickets.

That prompted me to introduce legislation that made it a crime for a person to willfully and knowingly “influence or attempt to influence a voter’s decision whether to go to the polls to cast a vote through the use of force, fraud, threat, menace, intimidation, bribery, reward or offer of reward.”

The phone calls urging people to stay home and not vote, paid for by the 2010 Ehrlich campaign, violated this law.

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