Maryland State Senator Edward J. Pipkin (R-Stevensville) has introduced SB 630. It clarifies that petition signatures do not need to exactly match the name of that voter in voter registration records. Several years ago, the state’s highest state court issued a ruling that seemed to say that petition signatures must match perfectly with the form of the name on voter registration records. For example, if a person showed a middle initial on the voter registration record, and yet signed a petition without that middle initial, the signature is void. Late last year, the same court seemed to retract that, but the court still hasn’t issued a complete explanation of its order, so the matter is still in doubt.
The bill says the signature is valid if the identity of the signer reasonably can be determined. Thanks to Brian Bittner for the news about this bill.