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Gov. O'Malley Pledges to 'Do Everything in My Power' to Fund Paper Ballots Bill

On the Sept. 6 Marc Steiner Show on WYPR Radio, Gov. Martin O'Malley responded to a phoned-in question from SAVE Our Votes' Mike Berla with a renewed commitment to keep his promise to protect democracy in Maryland.

Gov. O'MalleyThis excerpt was transcribed from WYPR's Marc Steiner Show podcast. This segment occurs approximately 25 minutes in from beginning of the recording, which began at about 12:06 pm.
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Caller (Mike Berla): Good afternoon Marc and Governor. Thanks for taking my call. I have a very serious question. I need about fifty seconds to set it up so people understand the background.

Last year, seven out of ten Maryland voters said that they would prefer to vote using paper ballots rather than paperless touchscreen voting machines. And in April the Maryland House and Senate unanimously passed Senator Ed Kasemeyer's bill requiring that State elections be held using paper ballots, beginning with the 2010 election.

But one of the provisions of the law is that it dies unless the purchase of the necessary equipment is funded in the next State budget. The Governor is the only person who can provide that funding. He must do it before the end of the next legislative session, next April, or the law disappears.

Now my question is: Will the Governor honor his campaign promises to get rid of our unreliable, insecure, paperless voting machines; and will he provide the funding in next year's budget to accomplish this vital step to which he commited last year? Thanks.

Governor O'Malley: I certainly hope to. That item also is largely dependent on our ability to, you know, muster the consensus we need to get our fiscal house in order. Unlike the federal government, we do not print money. But I think, given what other Marylanders are sacrificing for democracy abroad, we certainly have the ability to invest in protecting our election system here at home. Protecting democracy in Maryland. So that's a promise I intend to be able to keep; and I'm going to do everything in my power to do so.

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