Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings encouraged Maryland residents to be knowledgeable about a nationwide campaign to suppress some voters at a press conference held in his Baltimore offices.
"Only by equipping ourselves with the facts can we protect our right to vote and ensure that our voices, and those of our families and loved ones, are heard this year," Cummings said. "While Maryland does not have a restrictive voter ID law, our state is not immune to campaigns to suppress voters. If we aren't vigilant, the same types of restrictive laws could begin to crop up right here in Maryland."
Cummings was joined by Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, NAACP National Training Director Jessica Pierce, League of Women Voters of Baltimore City President Lois Hybl, and Baltimore City Board of Elections Election Director Armstead Jones, Sr.
"The integrity of our voting system must be protected and it's important that all voters know their rights under the law," said Attorney General Gansler. "My office will investigate and prosecute any individual or groups that engage in voter suppression tactics in Maryland."
The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law estimates that 3.2 million voters will be affected by new photo ID laws. An additional 240,000 citizens and potential voters will be affected by new proof of citizenship laws. New restrictions on registration and voting most greatly impact the young, minority, low-income, and disabled voters, The Brennan Center Found.
"Every American should take offense to efforts to buy our votes or stop us from voting this year. Voter suppression is an attack that destroys the one thing that everyone has a right to in this democracy," said Cummings. "Ultimately, this is not about Democrats versus Republicans, or us versus them. This is about our right as Americans to have an effective voice in our democracy."
Maryland voters may check their registration status, register to vote, and locate their polling place on the Maryland State Board of Elections website: http://www.elections.state.md.us/.