A ballot question addresses a piece of proposed legislation to be approved or rejected by voters. There are TWO ballot measures on the November 6, 2018 ballot for all Marylanders, see the information below to decide how you want to vote.
Question 1 - Education Funding
Constitutional Amendment (Ch. 357 of the 2018 Legislative Session) Requiring Commercial Gaming Revenues that are for Public Education to Supplement Spending for Education in Public Schools
Ballot Language: The amendment requires the Governor to include in the annual State Budget,as supplemental funding for prekindergarten through grade 12 in public schools, the revenues from video lottery operation licenses and any other commercial gaming dedicated to public education in an amount above the level of State funding for education in public schools provided by the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act of 2002 (otherwise known as the Thornton legislation) in not less than the following amounts: $125 million in fiscal year 2020; $250 million in fiscal year 2021; $375 million in fiscal year 2022; and 100% of commercial gaming revenues dedicated to public education in fiscal year 2023 and each fiscal year thereafter. The amendment also requires the Governor to show in the annual budget how the revenues from video lottery operation licenses and other commercial gaming are being used in a manner that is in addition to the level of State funding for public education provided by the funding formulas established by the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act. The State Constitution currently authorizes video lottery operation licenses for the primary purpose of raising money for public education. (Amending Article XIX, Section 1(c)(1) and (g), and adding Section 1(f) to the Maryland Constitution)
Current Law: Maryland voters approved a constitutional amendment (Article XIX) in 2008 authorizing video lottery operations for the "primary purpose" of raising money for public education. The funds must be used to support programs in public schools, such as early childhood education, career and technical education, high school courses for college credits, training for public school teachers, improvement of school buildings, and capital projects at community colleges and state-supported colleges and universities.
Proposed Change: This amendment would require that beginning in 2020, the Governor must include specified amounts from gambling revenues in the state budget for public education. These amounts must be in addition to, and not a substitute for, any other state funding for public education. The amendment would also repeal the provision that allows gambling revenues to be used for capital projects at community colleges and state-supported colleges and universities.
Origin of the Ballot Question: The 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation (SB 1122) proposing an amendment to the Maryland constitution to add more specific requirements for how gambling revenue is used in the state budget to fund public education. A bill to amend the Maryland constitution does not take effect unless it is approved
by the voters at the next general election.
Arguments FOR the amendment:
• It ensures that gambling revenues are directed to public education as intended and approved by voters.
• It addresses concerns that the state was using gaming revenues to substitute for education
funding that was already required by law, rather than increasing the total amount of education funding.
• It ensures that gaming revenues paid into the Education Trust Fund (also called a “lockbox”) may be spent only in addition to other public education funding and cannot be used as a substitute for other funding that is already required by the Bridge to Excellence law.
Arguments AGAINST the amendment:
• The amendment would reduce the state's flexibility to use gambling revenues for other state programs.
• The amendment would eliminate the use of gaming revenues to fund capital projects at community and public colleges.
A vote FOR the constitutional amendment means the state constitution would be amended to specify that revenue from gambling be used to supplement other state funding for public education and cannot be used as a substitute for other required education funding.
A vote AGAINST the amendment means the current provision in the constitution would remain
in effect, under which gambling revenue is used for public education but those funds may be in
place of other state funding for schools.
Non-Technical Summary from State Board of Elections Website
This proposed constitutional amendment would require that the Governor, beginning in fiscal year 2020, provide in the annual budget submission supplemental State funding for public education through the use of commercial gaming revenues. The supplemental funding must be in addition to the State funding provided through the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act of
2002. The supplemental funding included in the submission must total at least $125 million in fiscal year 2020, $250 million in fiscal year 2021, and $375 million in fiscal year 2022. In all subsequent fiscal years, 100% of the gaming revenues dedicated to public education must be included as supplemental funding.
The Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act established funding formulas for direct State aid to public schools. The Education Trust Fund is a special fund that is separate from the State’s General Fund and currently used for the continued funding of the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act formulas and programs. The General Fund consists of revenues collected by the State that are not dedicated by law to any specific purpose; a special fund consists of revenues, the use of which are statutorily limited as to purpose. A portion of the proceeds from video lottery terminals and table games is dedicated to the Education Trust Fund. Currently, all proceeds credited to the Education Trust Fund are budgeted for the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act formulas and programs. Designating the use of a portion or all of the money credited to the Education Trust Fund for supplemental funding will require General Fund expenditures for the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act formulas and programs to increase by an equal amount.
The proposed amendment requires the Governor to identify in the annual State budget submission how the supplemental revenue is being used to supplement and not supplant spending on public schools. The proposed amendment also requires that the supplemental funding be used to:
• ensure access to public education that allows children in the State to compete in the
global economy of the future;
• provide funding for high-quality early childhood education programs;
• provide opportunities for public school students to participate in career and technical
education programs that lead to an identified job skill or certificate;
• allow students to obtain, at no cost to the student, college credit and degrees while in
• support advancement and professionalization of educators in public schools; and
• maintain, renovate, or construct public schools.
Finally, the proposed amendment repeals the constitutional provision specifying that capital
projects at community colleges and public senior higher education institutions are among the
primary purposes for which revenue from video lottery terminal facilities is raised.
Question 2 - Election Day Voter Registration
Constitutional Amendment (Ch. 855 of the 2018 Legislative Session) Same-Day Registration
and Voting at the Precinct Polling Place on Election Day
Ballot Language: Authorizes the General Assembly to enact legislation to allow a qualified individual to register and vote at a precinct polling place on Election Day. The current law requires voter registration to close before Election Day. (Amending Article 1, sections 1 and 2, and adding Section 2A to the Maryland constitution.)
Current Law: Maryland law requires that voter registration close 21 days before an election. An exception allows people to register and vote in person during early voting at an Early Voting Center. They must provide proof of residence such as a driver's license or other specified identification. Under current law a person may not register to vote at a precinct polling place on
Election Day and vote on the same day.
Proposed Change: The Maryland constitution would be amended to authorize the legislature to pass a law permitting people to register to vote at a precinct polling place on Election Day and to vote on the same day.
Origin of the Ballot Question: The 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation (HB 532) proposing an amendment to the Maryland constitution to allow people to register to vote on Election Day and to vote the same day. A bill to amend the Maryland constitution does not take effect unless it is approved by the voters at the next general election.
Arguments FOR the amendment:
• Voting is a fundamental right that should not be lost due to failure to comply with a
• Same day registration and voting already takes place during early voting. On-the-spot
validation of a voter's documentation is conducted before the voter is allowed to vote.
These procedures could also be used for same day registration and voting on Election
• Fourteen other states allow same day voter registration and voting on Election Day and
have not reported problems.
Arguments AGAINST the amendment:
• Permitting people to register and vote on Election Day could lead to voter fraud.
• Requiring people to register in advance is not burdensome, as the registration forms are
A vote FOR the amendment means that the constitution would be amended to allow the legislature to enact a law permitting people to register to vote at a precinct polling place on Election Day.
A vote AGAINST the amendment means that the constitution would not be amended and people would need to register to vote before Election Day.
Ballot Question 2 Non-Technical Summary from State Board of Elections Website
This proposed constitutional amendment would authorize the General Assembly to allow qualified individuals to register to vote at a precinct polling place on Election Day and vote on that same day. If the constitutional amendment passes, the General Assembly would have the power to pass legislation that would determine the specific procedures to be followed to implement voter registration at precinct polling places on Election Day.
The Maryland Constitution currently requires that voter registration close before Election Day. This proposed constitutional amendment would amend that requirement to allow qualified individuals to register and vote on Election Day. Under current law, a qualified individual may register and vote on the same day at an early voting center in the individual’s county of residence during the period beginning the second Thursday before a primary or general election through the Thursday before the election. The proposed constitutional amendment would authorize the General Assembly to expand same-day voter registration to include Election Day itself.