Governor Larry Hogan has decided not to repeat the state’s use of a mail-predominant election that was adopted for the primary. Instead, citing the problems with mail ballots and long lines on election day, Hogan has opted to hold a regular general election with all early voting centers and all precinct polling locations open. He has directed the State Board of Elections to send an absentee ballot application to every eligible voter and to promote early voting, absentee voting and off-peak voting as “safe and efficient options.”
Hogan’s letter to the State Board of Elections appears below.
The votes are not in. Not a single ballot has been counted. Even in the primary. But the Democrats are already well on their way to retaking the General Assembly in 2014.
The filing deadline has passed. Democratic senatorial candidates face no Republican opponent in 18 legislative districts compared to just 5 Republicans without Democratic opponents. Democrats have to win just five more LDs to regain their majority.
On the House side, Democrats have effectively already won 52 seats, as Republicans have filed too few candidates in many districts to gain seats even if they won. In contrast, Democrats have left Republicans unopposed for just 5 seats. Democrats need just 19 more House seats for a majority.
In short, Democrats have already won 38% of Senate seats and 37% of House seats due to the lack of opposition. Republicans have won 11% of Senate seats, meaning that just under one-half of all LDs lack two major party candidates. The Republicans have won fewer House seats–under 4%–by default. Nearly 60% of seats for the House of Delegates will have full competition in the general election.
(Note: I’ve ignored third-party candidates here as none of them seem to have any possibility of victory.)