The State Board of Elections was created in 1969 as the State Administrative Board of Election Laws (Chapter 555, Acts of 1969). Its present name took effect January 1, 1999 (Chapter 585, Acts of 1998).

The conduct of voter registration and elections in Maryland is supervised by the Board, which adopts rules and regulations to help the boards of supervisors of elections in each county and Baltimore City with elections, voting, and voter registration. The Board also reviews, approves, certifies, and decertifies voting systems and adopts regulations relating to them. To regulate the financing of campaigns for State and county offices, the Board administers the Fair Election Practices Act (Code 1957, Art. 33, secs. 26-1 through 26-21). In addition, the Board prepares and certifies ballots, administers petitions, and publishes Constitutional amendments.

In odd-numbered years, the Board meets with the boards of supervisors of elections from the counties and Baltimore City to instruct them, their employees, and counsel on their duties in the conduct of elections. The Board also administers the voter registration-by-mail program.

The Board publishes Registration and Election Laws of Maryland, which is for sale to the public. Also available are primary and general election returns beginning with 1948. More recent returns are published as booklets.

The Board consists of five members appointed to four-year terms by the Governor with Senate advice and consent. Three must be of the same political party as the Governor, while two represent the party that received the second greatest number of votes in the most recent gubernatorial election.

The State Administrator of Elections receives and audits financial reports of candidates required under the Election Code (Code 1957, Art. 33, secs. 13-401 through 13-404). Appointed by the Governor to a six-year term, the State Administrator also serves as secretary to the Board of State Canvassers (Code 1957, Art. 33, secs. 2-101 through 2-106, 11-501 through 11-503).

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2000

July 18, 2000   
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