Dozens of Cars Parade Past Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s House to Protest Voter Suppression AND to Honor the Life of John Lewis
Wednesday noon event denounces Hogan plan for in-person voting during COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring faith leaders, students, civil rights advocates, elected officials, and fair elections leaders
ANNAPOLIS, MD – In a sign of the growing backlash against Maryland Governor Hogan’s plans for a dangerous in-person election in November, dozens of cars — honking and decorated with protest signs — paraded the Governor’s mansion in a noisy protest today. The drivers, wearing “Fight to Vote” face masks, were joined by notable leaders, including three state senators, who demanded the Governor reverse course immediately and allow a vote-by-mail general election during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Governor Hogan has the opportunity to protect Maryland voters by fully supporting a mail-in-ballot election,” said Maryland Senator Sarah Elfreth (D-30). “I’ve heard from dozens of constituents who are concerned about their safety and the safety of the poll workers. We are calling on him to reverse course immediately on his plans to conduct a traditional in person election. Such tactics during COVID-19 will decrease voter participation and needlessly risk lives. “
Maryland recently held two successful elections with ballots mailed to every voter — the state primary in June and the District 7 Congressional election in April. Yet now Governor Hogan is ordering an in-person election in November with mail-in voting only through a complicated absentee ballot application. Activists at the Wednesday car caravan and rally declared, in speech after speech, that this is recklessly endangering the lives of voters and suppressing voter turnout.
Activists delivered a petition signed by more than 1300 Marylanders calling on Governor Hogan to allow direct mailing of ballots to all voters to vote by mail. The petition states: “COVID-19 has already killed more than 3,250 Marylanders and shows no sign of going away. Therefore, your decision to require Maryland voters to vote in person in November puts their lives at risk and the lives of poll workers.” Click HERE to read the petition.
“Shame on Governor Hogan for doing the bidding of Donald Trump and making it harder for Marylanders to vote in November,” said Mike Tidwell, Director of CCAN Action Fund, which has launched a new campaign called Fight to Vote. “Governor Hogan: Stop suppressing our vote and suppressing our immune systems. Do the right thing. Let us vote safely. This November election is a life-or-death matter for people and the planet.”
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr, CEO of Hip Hop Caucus, stated: “My senior-citizen mother has never missed a vote in her adult life. But now I worry Governor Hogan will make it more difficult for older Marylanders like her to have their voices heard. Congressman John Lewis fought for African American voters like my mom. Larry Hogan should fight for Maryland voters, too, not against them.”
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh has stated strong opposition to Hogan’s decision for an in-person election. On July 10, he stated: “We cannot overstate the devastating consequences likely to result if the State of Maryland does not plan now to mail every voter a ballot for the 2020 Presidential General Election.”
Hogan’s plan has also faced strong opposition from advocacy groups and elected officials from across the state. In a July 6 letter to Hogan and other state officials, the Maryland Association of Election Officials, which represents the local election boards across the state, said that sending out absentee ballot applications rather than mailing the ballots themselves would likely have “devastating consequences.” And seven local Democratic leaders around Maryland — including Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young along with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr., Frederick County Executive Jan H. Gardner, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks — wrote a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan urging him to reconsider holding a largely in-person election in November.
During the Wednesday rally, activists also honored the life of the late Congressman John Lewis (D) who dedicated his life to the “sacred” cause of voter rights. A moment of silence was observed and remembrances were offered by speakers.
CCAN Action Fund is the grassroots arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the first grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 17 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.