Referendum Wording Presented For Fall Election

BERLIN — When local voters head to the polls this fall, in addition to the presidential election and a handful of important local elections, they will also be faced with a series of serious social issues through referendum questions including an expansion of gambling in the state, redistricting and same-sex marriage.

Maryland’s electorate will be asked to vote on seven different statewide questions when they head to the polls in November. Most notably on the local front, because of the proximity of the Casino at Ocean Downs, is a referendum question on an expansion to table games and the addition of a sixth casino. Also on the plate will be the weighty issues of same-sex marriage, in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants and the congressional redistricting plan.

The formal ballot questions for these and other weighty social issues were released by the state this week, shedding more light on just what Marylanders will have to decide this year.

“This is an important election, and as Marylanders, it is our responsibility to make informed decisions on policies that will affect our state for years to come,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley on Monday.

Most notably on the local front is Question 7, which, if approved would allow for the expansion of gambling in the state including the local Casino at Ocean Downs.

“Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education to authorize video lottery operation licensees to operate ‘table games’ as defined by law; to increase from 15,000 to 16,500 the maximum number of video lottery terminals that may be operated in the State; and to increase from 5 to 6 the maximum number of video lottery operation licenses that may be awarded in the State and allow a video lottery facility to operate in Prince George’s County?” the gaming referendum question reads.

In addition, there are several questions pertinent to local jurisdictions on the ballot. For example, Wicomico has four questions related to proposed charter amendments. There are no ballot questions specific to Worcester.

“I encourage everyone to closely examine the ballot initiatives and share the language with family and friends,” said O’Malley. “This year, we have a unique opportunity to move our State forward toward a more just and equal society, while defending dignity, protecting religious freedom, and investing in our greatest assets: the talents, skills, ingenuity and creativity of our people.”