Posted by: Ann Corcoran | June 4, 2011

Board of Elections revises petition numbers, but results so far exceed expectations

Yesterday, the State Board of Elections began releasing information on its preliminary count on the referendum petition on In-state tuition for illegal immigrants.  We thought the number turned in on May 31st was over 60,000, but officials say the number was closer to 58,000 which is still three times more than were needed by May 31st.

From the Maryland Reporter:

(June 3, 2011) — Local boards of elections Friday started validating the signatures on what turns out to be somewhat fewer petitions than originally claimed to overturn the law granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. So far, according to the State Board of Elections website, 4,483 out of about 58,000 signatures submitted have been validated, and 612 were found invalid, a relatively low rate of rejection.

The opponents of the new law had to have 18,500 signatures by May 31, and need a total of 55,736 by June 30.

Mary Wagner, head of the voter registration division at the state board, said she wasn’t surprised at the difference between what the petitioners certified they submitted – 62,496 — and the number of signatures the board counted. In 10 years of doing this, “I’ve never seen the number the petitioners said they had match the actual number,” Wagner said. In this case, more than 17,000 pages were submitted, making a hand count difficult.

Del. Neil Parrott, the Washington County Republican chairing the drive, also released figures that showed where the signatures were collected by county.

Baltimore County, where Del. Pat McDonough is leading the charge, had the highest number in the state. There, 14,301 signatures were collected, almost a quarter of the total. The other top five counties were Anne Arundel, 8,586; Harford, 5,922; Carroll, 5,820; and Washington, 3,310. Numbers for Calvert County were initially overcounted, leading to the mistaken numbers released by the petitioners on Tuesday.

The number of signatures rejected so far, about 12%, is fairly low by past standards, where as many as a third of signatures have been rejected.  [An enormous effort is being made to make sure all petitions are correct with some being returned by organizers for correction.  If you get yours back, please make the requested correction and return it as soon as possible—ed]

Go to the Maryland Reporter article to see what has been counted so far in each county.

Go daily (weekdays) to the State Board of Elections Office, here, click on “verification status” to see how many signatures have been validated by county.

Related:  Del. Mike Smigiel began a critical legal analysis of a letter from the State Attorney General’s Office to Governor Martin O’Malley in support of the bill.  Go here for Del. Smigiel’s report and here for the letter from the AG.

Also, CASA de Maryland, a group that advocates for illegal aliens in Maryland will start a campaign to try to convince people to NOT sign the petition.  A little too late I would say!  See the Gazette story here.   Tomorrow I’ll have more on CASA, its Hard Left roots and its partnership with the Catholic Church in Maryland.


  1. […] To see Gansler’s letter, links and Del. Mike Smigiel’s legal response may be found in this post. […]

  2. […] Update June 4th:  Numbers looking good!  Del Smigiel weighs in on Attorney General analysis of the law, here. […]

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