Every person who meets all of the following qualifications may vote:
Is a citizen of the United States;
Is eighteen (18) years of age or older;
Beginning with the year 1999 and ending December 31, 1999, has resided within the Town of Bel Air for at least thirty days preceding any Town election or referendum;
Beginning January 1, 2000, and for any subsequent year prior to January 1 2002, has resided within the Town of Bel Air for at least 24 days preceding any Town election or referendum;
Beginning with January 1, 2002 and for all elections thereafter, has resided within the Town of Bel Air for at least 21 days preceding any Town election or referendum;
Is not constitutionally regulated or prohibited by the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 33, Section 3-102b;
Is a registered voter of the Town of Bel Air, for at least the same number of days as the applicable residency requirement as stated herein preceding any Town election or referendum.
Elections shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every odd numbered year for the office of Commissioners. Special elections authorized by Section 307 or referendums specifically authorized by this Charter or under State law may be held as required under the provisions of the Charter or of the State law, authorizing the special election or referendum.
[Amended by Charter Res. No. 112-03, effective 1-20-2004]
The Board of Commissioners shall have the power to provide by ordinance for the conduct or registration, and elections and for the prevention of fraud in connection therewith and for a recount of ballots whenever necessary. No such ordinance shall be in any way inconsistent with any section of this Charter.
Appointment and Term of Office
There shall be on a Board of Election Judges, consisting of three (3) members who shall be appointed by the Board of Commissioners on or before the first Monday in October in every second even numbered year. The terms of the Election Judges shall begin on the first Monday in October in the year in which they are appointed and shall run for four (4) years. Each Election Judge shall be a registered voter of the Town and shall not hold or be a candidate for any elective office during this term of office. The Board of Election Judges shall appoint one of its members as Chairman. A vacancy on the Board shall be filled by the Board of Commissioners for the remainder of any unexpired term. The compensation of the Election Judges shall be determined by the Board of Commissioners.
Any Election Judge may be removed for good cause by the Board of Commissioners. Before removal, any Election Judge shall be given a written notice of the charges against him and shall be entitled to a public hearing upon request before the Board of Commissioners within ten (10) days after receiving such notice.
The Board of Election Judges shall be in charge of the registration of voters, nomination procedures, and all Town elections. The Board may appoint an election Clerk or other Election Official to assist in any of its duties but no salary, expense, or other compensation shall be paid to such appointees except as provided by the Board of Commissioners.
If any person shall feel aggrieved by the action of the Board of Election Judges in refusing to register or in striking off the name of any person, or by any other action, such person may appeal to the Board of Commissioners. Any decision or action of the Board of Commissioners upon appeals may be appealed to the Circuit Court of Harford County within thirty (30) days of the decision or action of the Board of Commissioners.
Wherever the right of referendum is provided in this Charter it shall be exercised in accordance with the following procedures:
No resolution subject to referendum shall become effective at any time before forty-one days from date of its passage and the effect of any ordinance subject to referendum may be suspended if petitioned to referendum at any time during the forty day period following its enactment. No ordinance shall become effective if a petition for referendum requesting that the ordinance or proposed resolution or Charter amendment subject to referendum be submitted to the voters of the Town, signed by ten percent (10%) or more of the persons who are qualified to vote in the Town elections, be received by the twentieth (20th) day following the passage of the ordinance or proposed resolution or Charter amendment. In order to initiate a referendum a petition for referendum meeting the requirements of subsection (b) must be presented to the Board of Commissioners within, on or before the fortieth day after a resolution or an ordinance is passed.
A petition for referendum shall be signed by twenty percent (20%) or more of the persons who are qualified to vote in Town elections and shall request that the ordinance or proposed resolution or Charter amendment subject to referendum be submitted to the voters of the Town. Each person signing the petition shall indicate thereon both their name and residence address. Upon receiving a petition for referendum, the Board of Commissioners shall direct that the Board of Election Judges or its appointed agent verify that all persons who circulated and/or signed the petition are registered to vote in Town elections, and shall consider the petition as of no effect if it is signed by fewer than twenty percent (20%) of the persons who are registered to vote in the Town.
If the petition for referendum complies with the requirements of subsection (b), the Board of Commissioners shall by ordinary resolution specify the day and the hours for the election at which the question shall be submitted to the voters at a regular Town election or at a special election in the discretion of the Board. In the event a special election is designated, it shall be held within a period of not less than forty-five (45) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the passage of the resolution, providing for the referendum. The resolution providing for the referendum shall specify the exact wording which is to be placed on the ballots or voting machines when the question is submitted to the voters of the Town.