Maryland nears record high voter registration — and independents make up the fastest-growing group

Ed Brown says he leans Republican on most issues, and will definitely vote for Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the Nov. 6 election. But he isn’t a registered Republican, and he doesn’t plan on becoming one. “Republicans are now the ‘Trumpian’ party, and I can’t deal with that on a number of levels,” said the 54-year-old software engineer, referring to President Donald Trump. At the same time, he said, “Democrats take the black vote for granted,” and he felt that party was weak on economic issues. The Howard County resident is part of the growing number of Maryland voters registered as independents, a number that’s grown faster than the tally for either Democrats or Republicans since the previous gubernatorial election. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. voters to have say on same-day registration gaming money for education

Washington County voters will decide on two statewide ballot questions as part of the Nov. 6 general election. One constitutional amendment is on whether commercial gaming revenues should be dedicated as supplemental funding for education. The other is whether to allow same-day registration for voting on Election Day. The amendment on gaming funds would require the governor to budget revenues generated by video lottery operations and other commercial gaming specifically as supplemental funding for public schools. (Herald-Mail)

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'Everything on the table' as commission begins examining corrupt Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force

Members of a state commission created to look into the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force scandal convened their first meeting in Annapolis on Tuesday, with a state senator offering a sobering assessment of the state of the city to emphasize the importance of their work. State Sen. Bill Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat, said the Commission to Restore Trust in Policing “truly may be one of the last hopes our city has to restore trust in the fundamental nature of democracy in government.” “When that’s broken, all of it is broken, and I fear that’s where we may be,” Ferguson said. (Balt. Sun)

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Montgomery Co. leaders urge lower speed limits after teens struck waiting for bus

Lawmakers in Montgomery County are calling on Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and state officials to lower speed limits on Georgia Avenue and to take other “immediate” steps to improve pedestrian safety after several high school students waiting for a bus were struck by a car last week. In a letter to Hogan and Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn, members of the Montgomery County Council say the speed limit along Georgia Avenue/Maryland Route 97 — 45 mph — “is much too high” for the suburban area and want it lowered. (WTOP)

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October 16 // Md. lawmaker who came out as bisexual changes party affiliation

Meagan Simonaire, the state lawmaker who came out as bisexual during a speech in the House of Delegates earlier this year, changed her party affiliation on Monday from Republican to Democrat. Simonaire, who is completing her first term in office and is not running for reelection, said she could not remain in a political party that condones what she called President Trump's "divisive rhetoric." (Wash. Post)

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What would a second Hogan term look like? Much like the first, he says

Gov. Larry Hogan imagines that, if re-elected, his second term in office will look much like his first. Since Hogan took office in 2014, the economy has improved, he said. He’s poured a record $25 billion into education — though required to by law — and invested in transportation and infrastructure projects across the state. Under Hogan’s administration, the number of heroin overdoses dropped 20 percent statewide and prescription drug-related deaths fell 7 percent. (Balt. Sun)

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Super PAC takes pro-Elrich, anti-Floreen stance

Democratic Montgomery County executive candidate Marc Elrich now has the force of a Super PAC behind him. Progressive Maryland Liberation Alliance PAC, which is the Super PAC of the liberal group Progressive Maryland, will be working to support Elrich in the last few weeks before the Nov. 6 election, said Chairman Larry Stafford. (Bethesda)

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Smith: 'Humbled and appreciative' of calls to run for mayor, but has no such plans

Amid urging from locals including former Commissioner Kevin Davis, T.J. Smith was noncommittal on whether he plans to enter politics. Smith, who resigned last week as the top spokesman of Baltimore police, was in studio with C4. "I'm humbled and appreciative of that and now able to be a little bit more opinionated about things and I'll continue to be but I'm supporting our current administration because their success is our success," Smith said. (WBAL-radio)

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