Maryland State Senator Paula Hollinger. Her Committee
is considering the legislation (amended SB713) that
would provide for the one-time lease of ES&S optical
scan: a paper ballot for fall 2006. Representatives
of several groups, supporting this legislation,
attended the meeting. At that time, Sen. Hollinger
told us that she was conducting discussions with House
of Delegates Committee Chairwoman, Del. Sheila Hixson.
The purpose of those talks was to coordinate the
language of the two bills, so that both houses would
pass identical bills. The House version, HB244 passed
unanimously three weeks ago.
Now, various news sources are reporting that Sen.
Hollinger has said that there will probably be no
optical scan legislation this year. Activists have no
information about what transpired, over the past
month, to bring about this change. It appears that
Sen. Hollinger no longer supports SB713, which is her
bill. What we do know is that there is very little
time remaining to secure passage of this legislation.
The Legislative Session ends on April 11.
If we are to have a paper ballot for Maryland voters
in 2006, it is essential that citizens contact Senator
Hollinger, and Senate President Mike Miller, urging
immediate passage of SB713, amended to provide optical
scan for this fall. The email address for Senator
For Senate President Miller: