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Election 2012: Voter’s Guide

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Posted on: October 10, 2012

COMPILED BY SUSIE CURRIE — When Hyattsville voters go to the polls next month, they will be deciding questions that will reverberate through the state and the county for decades to come. In the spirit of public service, we present the text of all 14 of them so you won’t be seeing them for the first time on November 6.
The State Questions: 1 to 7

AMENDMENTS TO THE MARYLAND STATE CONSTITUTION: Questions 1 to 3

Question 1: Qualifications for Prince George’s County Orphans’ Court Judges

Requires judges of the Orphans’ Court for Prince George’s County to be admitted to practice law in this State and to be a member in good standing of the Maryland Bar.

Question 2: Qualifications for Baltimore County Orphans’ Court Judges

Requires judges of the Orphans’ Court for Baltimore County to be admitted to practice law in this State and to be a member in good standing of the Maryland Bar.

Question 3: Suspension and Removal of Elected Officials

Changes the point at which an elected official charged with certain crimes is automatically suspended or removed from office. Under existing law, an elected official who is convicted or pleads no contest is suspended and is removed only when the conviction becomes final. Under the amended law, an elected official is suspended when found guilty and is removed when the conviction becomes final or when the elected official pleads guilty or no contest.

VOTING REFERENDUMS: Questions 4 to 6

Question 4: Public Institutions of Higher Education – Tuition Rates

*sometimes called the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act

Establishes that individuals, including undocumented immigrants, are eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at community colleges in Maryland, provided the student meets certain conditions relating to attendance and graduation from a Maryland high school, filing of income taxes, intent to apply for permanent residency, and registration with the selective service system (if required); makes such students eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at a four-year public college or university if the student has first completed 60 credit hours or graduated from a community college in Maryland; provides that students qualifying for in-state tuition rates by this method will not be counted as in-state students for purposes of counting undergraduate enrollment; and extends the time in which honorably discharged veterans may qualify for in-state tuition rates.
Question 5: Congressional Districting Plan
Establishes the boundaries for the State’s eight United States Congressional Districts based on recent census figures, as required by the United States Constitution.
 Question 6: Civil Marriage Protection Act
Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.

Question 7: Gaming Expansion Referendum

Do you favor the expansion of commercial gaming in the State of Maryland for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education to authorize video lottery operation licensees to operate “table games” as defined by law; to increase from 15,000 to 16,500 the maximum number of video lottery terminals that may be operated in the State; and to increase from 5 to 6 the maximum number of video lottery operation licenses that may be awarded in the State and allow a video lottery facility to operate in Prince George’s County?
The County Questions: A to G
Question A:  Proposed Charter Amendment
To authorize legislative action on the decennial County Council redistricting plan by resolution upon notice and public hearing.
Question B: Proposed Charter Amendment
To amend the procedure for approval of multiyear contracts by resolution of the County Council upon notice and public hearing.
Question C: Library Facilities Bonds
An Act enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $45,150,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of Library Facilities, as defined therein.
Question D: County Buildings Bonds
An Act enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $75,823,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of County Buildings, as defined therein.
Question E: Public Safety Facilities Bonds
An Act enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $156,354,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of Public Safety Facilities (including Fire Department Facilities), as defined therein.
Question F: Public Works and Transportation Facilities
An Act enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $193,383,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of Public Works and Transportation Facilities (including roads and bridges, parking lots, and maintenance facilities), as defined therein.
Question G: Community College Facilities Bonds
An Act enabling the County to borrow money and issue bonds in an amount not exceeding $156,047,000 to finance the design, construction, reconstruction, extension, acquisition, improvement, enlargement, alteration, renovation, relocation, rehabilitation or repair of Community College Facilities, as defined therein.

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