The biggest news for voting rights in Maryland this session was the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Rucho v. Common Cause, in which the court found that partisan gerrymandering is nonjusticiable (i.e., that it’s not within the judiciary’s power to rule on the issue). All voters deserve to vote under a map where they choose their politicians and not the other way around. 

Democratic legislators were able to make important voting rights advances as they passed legislation establishing same day registration (HB 286SB 449) (the measure had already passed by ballot initiative) and a bill expanding early voting centers (HB 237). However, measures that would have enabled eligible voters to register at high schools (SB 934) and established a permanent absentee voter list (HB 119SB 333) did not advance this session. 

Maryland Democrats also passed exciting legislation that allows a voter to choose a “nonbinary” gender option when registering to vote and obtaining a driver’s license.

Thanks to Democratic control of the state legislature, Maryland Republicans were unable to pass a suppressive voter ID law (HB 992).