City of Taneytown, MD
Carroll County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Taneytown 3-14-2011 by Ord. No. 1-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 12-12-2016 by Ord. No. 29-2016]
The following schedule shall be utilized for every general election of the City.
A. 
Election day: first Monday of May.
B. 
Absentee ballots available: three weeks prior to election day.
C. 
Deadline for Board of Election Supervisors to verify and certify candidate nomination: four weeks prior to election day.
D. 
Candidate nomination close: six weeks prior to election day.
E. 
Notice of election/nomination published: nine weeks prior to election day.
A notice, substantially similar to the language included below, shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Taneytown, pursuant to the schedule in § 103-11 above.
The City of Taneytown will hold its City Election on Monday, May [insert date] between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the [insert poll location and address]. The election is for [insert offices/charter amendment].
Any resident of Taneytown seeking election to these offices must file a certificate of nomination no later than 4:00 p.m. on [insert date]. Certificates of nomination may be obtained from the City Office located at 17 East Baltimore Street, Taneytown, during regular business hours. Candidates shall be at least 25 years of age, shall have resided in the City of Taneytown for at least [insert qualifications for Mayor and/or Council] years immediately prior to the election and shall be qualified voters of the City.
Residents of the City of Taneytown who are at least 18 years of age and registered with the Carroll County Board of Elections shall be eligible to vote in the upcoming City election. Any person wishing to register to vote may do so any time prior to [insert date four weeks prior to election day] at the Carroll County Board of Elections. If you are registered to vote in a federal, state or county election you do not need to register again.
Absentee ballots may be obtained from the City Office after completing a request form and shall be available on [insert date three weeks before election day]. All completed absentee ballots must be returned no later than 7:00 p.m. [insert date of election]. The request form for absentee ballots is available by contacting the City office or from the City's website.
The provisions set forth in this section shall apply to all City elections.
A. 
Procedures for voting by absentee ballot.
(1) 
Any qualified voter registered to vote in a City election is entitled to vote by absentee ballot. Such voter shall make application for an absentee ballot at the City Office no earlier than seven weeks prior to any election. Upon receipt of a properly completed application and no sooner than three weeks prior to the election, the voter may be mailed an absentee ballot, may obtain an absentee ballot in person at the City office, or an absentee ballot may be issued to an authorized agent of the voter.
(2) 
Form of application. The application shall contain the voter's name; address; phone number; signature; a space to select the option of picking the absentee ballot up in person, by mail, or through an authorized agent; a space to list the authorized agent's name, address and phone number; and a statement indicating that the ballot must be returned prior to the closing of the polls, giving the date and time, or it will not be counted. An application shall be rejected if not properly completed.
(3) 
Authorized agents. If the voter does not apply in person, the voter may designate an individual to act as an agent for the purpose of delivering the absentee ballot to the voter. The name and address of the agent shall be listed on the application for the absentee ballot. The agent shall execute an affidavit under penalty of perjury that the ballot was delivered to the voter who submitted the application; that the ballot was marked by the voter in the agent's presence; that the ballot was placed in a sealed envelope in the agent's presence; and that the agent returned the sealed envelope to the City office.
[Amended 3-13-2017 by Ord. No. 2-2017]
(a) 
To qualify for agent delivery, the registered voter must:
[1] 
Live in a:
[a] 
Nursing home;
[b] 
Assisted living facility;
[c] 
Residential treatment center;
[d] 
Group home;
[e] 
Battered women's shelter; or
[2] 
Be hospitalized; or
[3] 
Be unable to go to the polling place due to incapacitating health reasons or a disability.
(b) 
To qualify as an authorized agent, a person:
[1] 
Must be at least 18 years old.
[2] 
Must be a registered voter within the City of Taneytown or a licensed health care professional engaged in the care of the absentee voter.
[3] 
May not be a candidate on the ballot or be a direct relative of a candidate on the ballot.
(c) 
An individual may not be an agent for more than one voter in an election.
(4) 
If the voter has requested that the ballot be delivered by mail, the Clerk shall, as soon as practicable, mail to the voter at an address designated by the voter, an absentee ballot and an envelope therefor. Mailing shall be by certified mail, return receipt requested or, if to be sent out of the country, by the quickest mailing practical. Postage for transmitting the ballot material to the voter shall be paid for by the City, and postage for the return of the ballot shall be paid by the voter.
(5) 
A record of applications for all absentee ballots shall be maintained, noting the date and time received; and the name and address of the applicant. This record shall be available for examination by the public.
(6) 
After issuance of the absentee ballot, that voter's record shall be marked accordingly and shall be removed from the voter rolls and held separately. No voter who has had an absentee ballot issued to them shall vote or be allowed to vote in person at any polling place.
(7) 
No more than one absentee ballot shall be issued to any voter unless the Board of Election Supervisors has reasonable grounds to believe that the absentee ballot previously issued has been lost, destroyed or spoiled.
B. 
Canvassing of absentee ballots.
(1) 
Absentee ballots shall not be opened or unfolded at any time prior to the closing of the polls and the beginning of the canvass of the ballots.
(2) 
Any absentee ballot received after the time for closing of the polls will not be counted.
(3) 
If the Board determines that the affirmation on the outside of the ballot envelope has been properly completed and that person is entitled to vote and has not already voted on Election Day, the Board shall open the ballot envelope and remove the ballot therefrom and place it in a ballot box prepared for that purpose. When any ballot envelope is opened, the Board shall enter into the appropriate register the fact that the voter has voted, using the initials "A.B." to indicate the vote has been by absentee ballot. If there is more than one ballot in the ballot envelope, all ballots shall be rejected.
(4) 
Invalid absentee ballots. Any absentee ballot which has voted for a person who has ceased to be a candidate shall not be counted for such candidate, but such vote shall not invalidate the remainder of such ballot. If at or prior to the time of canvassing the ballots, the Board shall determine from proof or investigation that the absentee voter who marked a ballot had died before Election Day, such ballot shall not be counted. If the Board has not been able to determine that an absentee voter had died prior to Election Day, the vote shall be counted, and the fact that such absentee voter may be shown to have been deceased on Election Day shall not invalidate such ballot or election.
(5) 
Maintaining records. All absentee voter applications, certifications, ballot envelopes and ballots shall be kept separate and apart from the ballots cast in the regular voting places and retained for six months after the date of election at which they were cast unless, prior to that time, the Board shall be ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction to keep the same for a longer period.
C. 
Form of ballots for absentee voters. In sufficient time prior to the date absentee ballots are available, an adequate number of absentee ballots and three types of envelopes described herein shall be printed. The ballots shall contain the words "Absentee Ballot" printed in large letters in a clear space at the top of each ballot. Underneath these words shall be printed the following warning: "Mark ballot by placing "X" or other such mark that clearly indicates the voter's choice in the proper blank after each candidate or question. Do not erase or make identifying mark." The Board of Election Supervisors shall prescribe the size, form and printed content of the absentee ballot material and envelopes providing for a covering envelope, a ballot envelope and a return envelope.
The Board of Election Supervisors is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the Charter and Code for the conduct of the City elections, including but not limited to the Board's operating rules, polling place procedures, vote count procedures, and any other matter deemed to be appropriate and necessary to the conduct of City elections.
[Added 5-18-2017 by Ord. No. 8-2017]
A. 
Applicability.
(1) 
The provisions of this section shall apply to all petitions filed pursuant to the Charter and Code of the City of Taneytown and matters subject to petition contained in applicable provisions of Title 4 of the Local Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
(2) 
Nothing in this chapter shall create, enlarge, alter or add any petition rights of the citizens of Taneytown which are not otherwise authorized by the Charter and Code of the City of Taneytown or applicable provisions of state law.
B. 
Contents of petitions.
(1) 
A petition shall contain:
(a) 
An information page; and
(b) 
Signature pages containing not less than the total number of signatures required by law to be filed.
(2) 
Information page. The information page shall contain:
(a) 
A description of the subject and purpose of the petition.
(b) 
Identification of the sponsor and, if the sponsor is an organization, the individual designated to receive notices under this chapter and the address of the individual and organization.
(c) 
The number of signature pages comprising the petition and the total number of signatures contained in the petition.
(3) 
Signature page. Each signature page shall contain:
(a) 
A description of the subject and purpose of the petition, conforming to the requirements of applicable law.
(b) 
If the petition seeks to challenge a charter amendment adopted by the Mayor and City Council, the resolution number which adopted the charter amendment and:
[1] 
A fair and accurate summary of the substantive provisions of the charter amendment; or
[2] 
The full text of the charter amendment.
(c) 
If the petition seeks to adopt a charter amendment, the description must comply with the applicable provisions of the Local Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
(d) 
If the petition is filed pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, it shall also comply with the applicable requirements stated therein.
(e) 
A statement, to which each signer (petitioner) subscribes, that:
[1] 
The signer supports the purpose of the petition process; and
[2] 
Based on the signer's information and belief, the signer is a registered voter of the City.
(f) 
A space for the signature of the petitioner.
(g) 
A space for the petitioner to print their name and address.
(h) 
A space for the petitioner to write the date of signing.
(i) 
A space for the required affidavit made and executed by the circulator.
(4) 
A signature page shall satisfy the requirements of Subsection B(3) above before any signature is affixed to it and at all relevant times thereafter.
(5) 
All signature pages comprising the petition shall be assembled and filed as one instrument.
C. 
Form petition. A petition substantially similar to the one referenced as "Sample Petition 1" shall be used to comply with the terms of this section.
D. 
Information provided by signers.
(1) 
To sign a petition, an individual shall:
(a) 
Sign the individual's name as it appears on the City's voter registration records. A minor variation in the signature of a petitioner between the signature on the petition and that on the City's voter registration records shall not invalidate the signature.
(b) 
Include the following information, printed or typed, in the spaces provided:
[1] 
The signer's name as it was signed;
[2] 
The signer's address; and
[3] 
The date of signing.
(2) 
Validation and counting. The signature of an individual shall be validated and counted if:
(a) 
The requirements of Subsection D(1) of this section have been satisfied;
(b) 
The individual is a registered voter of the City when the individual signed the petition;
(c) 
The individual has not previously signed the same petition;
(d) 
The signature is attested to by an affidavit appearing on the page on which the signature appears;
(e) 
The date accompanying the signature is not later than the date of the affidavit on the page; and
(f) 
The signature was affixed within the requisite period of time, as specified by law.
(3) 
Removal of signature and additional signatures.
(a) 
A signature may be removed:
[1] 
By the signer upon written application to the Mayor and City Council, if the application is received prior to the filing of that signature; or
[2] 
Prior to the filing of that signature, by the circulator who attested to that signature or by the sponsor of the petition, if it is concluded that the signature does not satisfy the requirements of this section.
(b) 
A signature removed pursuant to this section may not be included in the total number of signatures stated on the information page included in the petition.
(c) 
Subsequent to the filing of a petition under this section, but prior to the deadline for filing the petition, additional signatures may be added to the petition by filing an amended information page and additional signature pages conforming to the requirements of this section.
E. 
Circulators; affidavit of circulator.
(1) 
Each signature page shall contain an executed affidavit by the individual in whose presence all of the signatures on that page were affixed and who observed each of those signatures being affixed, herein cited as the "circulator." The circulator shall be a registered voter of the City of Taneytown.
(2) 
The affidavit shall contain the statement that:
(a) 
All identifying information given by the circulator is true and correct;
(b) 
Signatures were placed on the petition in the circulator's presence;
(c) 
Based on the circulator's best knowledge and belief, each signature on the page is genuine and each signer is a registered voter of the City.
(3) 
Any signature page which does not fulfill the requirements of this section shall be disallowed and all signatures thereon shall not be counted.
(4) 
A circulator must be at least 18 years old at the time any of the signatures covered by the affidavit are affixed.
F. 
Filing of petitions. A petition shall be addressed to the Mayor and City Council of the City of Taneytown and shall be filed with the City Clerk.
G. 
Determinations at time of filing.
(1) 
Upon the filing of a petition, the City Clerk shall review the petition to make a determination that the petition, as to matters other than the validity of signatures, is sufficient. This determination may be deferred to obtain a legal review of the petition by the City.
(2) 
Declaration of deficiency. The City Clerk shall declare that the petition is deficient if it is determined that:
(a) 
The petition was not timely filed.
(b) 
The petition does not satisfy any requirements of law for the number of signatures.
(c) 
The requirements relating to the form of the petition have not been satisfied.
(d) 
The use of a petition for the subject matter of the petition is not authorized by law.
(e) 
The petition has failed to satisfy some other requirement established by law.
(3) 
Unless a declaration of deficiency is made, the City Clerk shall make a determination that the petition, as to matters other than the validity of signatures, is sufficient, in which case the process of verification of signatures shall begin pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(4) 
Notice of the determination made under this section shall be given to the Mayor and City Council of the City of Taneytown and to the individual designated to receive notice on the information page of the petition.
H. 
Verification of signatures.
(1) 
Upon the filing of a petition, unless it has been declared deficient under the terms of this section, the City Clerk shall proceed to verify the signatures and count the validated signatures contained in the petition. The purpose of signature verification is to ensure that the name of the individual who signed the petition is listed as a registered voter of the City at the time the petition was signed.
(2) 
If it is determined that the petitioner is not a registered voter of the City at the time of the signing, that signature will be disallowed and not counted in the total of valid signatures contained in the petition.
(3) 
If the name of the petitioner is not legible or if information required under this section is not provided, that signature will be disallowed and not counted in the total of valid signatures contained in the petition.
I. 
Certification.
(1) 
At the conclusion of the verification and counting process, the City Clerk shall:
(a) 
Determine whether the validated signatures contained in the petition are sufficient to satisfy all requirements established by law relating to the number of signatures; and
(b) 
Determine whether the petition has satisfied all other requirements established by law for that petition.
(2) 
If the City Clerk determines that a petition has satisfied all requirements established by law relating to that petition, the City Clerk shall certify that the petition process has been completed and shall:
(a) 
Notify the Mayor and City Council of the City of Taneytown and submit the petition and certification to the Mayor and City Council for appropriate action required by law.
(b) 
Send notice of such certification to those designated to receive notice on the information page of the petition.
(c) 
Post a public notice in the customary place indicating that a petition has been filed and has been certified to be valid.
(3) 
If the City Clerk determines that a petition has not satisfied all requirements established by law relating to that petition, the City Clerk shall certify the petition as invalid and shall:
(a) 
Notify the Mayor and City Council of the City of Taneytown of such invalidity.
(b) 
Send notice of such invalidity to those designated to receive notice on the information page of the petition.
(c) 
Post a public notice in the customary place indicating that a petition has been filed and has been declared invalid.