Maryland Working Families Statement on Hogan Veto of Voter Re-Enfranchisement Bill

Maryland Working Families Statement on Hogan Veto of Voter Re-Enfranchisement Bill

Less than a month ago, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan walked the streets of Baltimore City during the uprising, listening to the concerns and needs of residents. He heard stories of failing institutions, substandard housing, inadequate schools and lack of jobs.

But apparently it was for show. Since his temporary residency in Baltimore and words of concern for Maryland families, Hogan has revealed his true agenda through his actions, most recently by vetoing a bill that would restore voting rights to over 40,000 Marylanders who have served their time in criminal detention and have returned to their communities. West Baltimore, the home of Freddie Gray, has the highest rate of disenfranchisement in the state.

Hogan’s veto is also for show. He surely knows that the Maryland General Assembly will override his veto when they come back into session in January 2016. But by vetoing this measure, he has denied the franchise to 40,000 Marylanders for another six months, potentially affecting participation in and the outcome of the 2016 elections, including the presidential and Baltimore City races.

In a stunning lack of leadership, Hogan chose to announce his veto late on the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day. And he left for Asia for nearly two weeks on the following Tuesday, failing to stand behind his indefensible decision while signaling to his base that he will keep Marylanders from exercising their voting rights, if only temporarily.

Maryland Working Families decries Governor Hogan’s veto. We will work to ensure that voting rights are restored to the 40,000 disenfranchised voters in our state and that all voters exercise their right to elect leaders who represent their interests.