Maryland was the most active Democratic state in terms of new election laws in the first half of 2024

Maryland adopted 10 election-related bills in the first half of 2024, making it the most active state with a Democratic trifecta in terms of new election laws. 

Lawmakers adopted bills expanding protections for election officials, and created a portal intended to address election misinformation. They also adopted a new law modifying post-election canvassing procedures, including a process to investigate election errors and new rules to handle dissent among boards of canvassers: 

HB 585 / SB 480, the Protecting Election Officials Act, makes threatening an election official or their immediate family a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. The act also expands these and existing protections to the counsel to the State Board of Elections, counsel to local boards of election, and their families. 

HB 333 defines election disinformation as “knowingly and deliberately disseminated,” and misinformation as “incorrect or misleading information regarding the time, place, or manner of an election, election results, or voting rights in the state.” It requires the state board of election to maintain a portal for the public to submit instances of election dis- and misinformation, and requires the board to review submissions and issue corrective information as necessary or refer cases to the State Prosecutor.

HB 471 requires the Board of State Canvassers to convene within 30 days (instead of 35) of an election. It also requires the State Administrator of Elections to investigate an error in election documents or records produced during an election and adds a provision that directs a dissenting member of a canvassing board to prepare and file a written statement with the local election board explaining their dissent.

The information in this article is based on Ballotpedia’s State of Election Administration Legislation 2024 Mid-Year Report. The report provides insights, analysis, and takeaways from the 3,735 election-related bills we tracked in the first half of this year. 

Keep reading: State of Election Administration Legislation 2024 Mid-Year Report