Town of Snow Hill, MD
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Snow Hill 3-13-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-01; [1]amended in its entirety 4-9-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-01. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Election guidelines — See Charter.
Election districts — See Ch. 1, Art. III.
Ethics — See Ch. 16.
[1]
Editor's Note: The provisions of this chapter were originally adopted as Ch. 90, but were redesignated to fit the organizational structure of the Code.
The purpose of the election procedures contained in this chapter is to ensure, subject to all of the provisions contained in this chapter and applicable provisions of the Charter, that every voter shall be entitled to exercise his or her right to vote; provide for and regulate the conduct of elections in the Town of Snow Hill; and to protect against fraud in connection with such elections.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all elections, general, special, runoff and referendum.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated below:
BALLOT
The means by which a vote is cast. "Ballot" or "ballots" include paper ballots, absentee ballots, provisional ballots or the labels that appear on the face of a voting machine, whichever in context is appropriate.
BUSINESS ENTITY
Any corporation, limited liability company, general or limited partnership, sole proprietorship (including a private consulting operation), joint venture, unincorporated association or firm, institution, trust foundation or other organization, whether organized for profit or not. As used in this chapter, the term "business entity" shall not include a political committee registered with the Town.
CAMPAIGN REPORT
A report of contributions received and expenditures.
CANDIDATE
Any person who seeks election to the office of Mayor or Councilperson of the Town of Snow Hill.
CONTRIBUTION
A loan, transfer or promise of transfer of money, property, use of property or any other thing of value (other than a "contribution-in-kind" as defined herein) to any candidate or to any political committee to promote the success or defeat of a candidate or of any matter or issue which has been submitted to a vote at an election or is in the process of being petitioned to referendum. For the purposes of this chapter, volunteered services shall not be considered a "contribution" unless they are professional services. Use of a personal phone, residence or personal vehicle incident to the provision of volunteered services exempt from regulation under this chapter likewise shall be considered exempt from reporting or regulation hereunder.
CONTRIBUTION IN-KIND
A contribution of anything other than money or property, for example, services.
ELECTION
The process by which the voters of the Town of Snow Hill vote for Mayor or Councilperson, any Charter amendment, proposition or question, and, unless otherwise indicated, shall include all elections, general, special, runoff and referendum.
INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES
An expenditure by a person or political committee that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate and that is not made in cooperation with or at the request of such candidate, the candidate's political committee or their agents.
PERSON
Includes an individual or business entity.
POLITICAL COMMITTEE
Any combination of two or more persons which assists or attempts to assist in any manner in promoting the success or defeat of a candidate or of any matter or issue which has been submitted to a vote at an election or is in the process of being petitioned to referendum, or any group of individuals, including any civic association, acting in concert for the same purposes to collectively make independent expenditures that exceed $100 in a calendar year.
POLITICAL MATTER
Any pamphlet, circular, card, sample ballot, poster, billboard, advertisement, button or any other printed, photographed, typewritten, electronic or digital media or written material or statement relating to any candidate or prospective candidate or any matter or issue which has been submitted to a vote at an election or is in the process of being petitioned to referendum.
PRACTICABLE
Capable of being done, effected, or put into practice with the available means.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Any service performed by a business entity, and any service performed by a person or group of persons for which such person or group of persons are compensated, and which requires specialized professional, technical or administrative training or experience or experience in a recognized skilled trade or craft. The term "professional services" includes, but is not limited to, the services of attorneys at law, public accountants, drafters, printers, photographers, graphic artists, public relations experts and consultants.
PROVISIONAL BALLOT
A ballot used to record a vote when there is some question in regards to a given voter's eligibility.
PUBLIC OFFICE
The office of Mayor or Councilperson, or other elected offices of the Town of Snow Hill.
SUPERVISORS
The Town of Snow Hill Board of Election Supervisors.
VOTER'S ASSISTANT
A person other than the voter selected to assist the voter in completing the absentee ballot and/or the absentee ballot application. An assistant must be at least 18 years of age; cannot be a candidate on the ballot; cannot be the voter's employer or an agent of the employer; and cannot be an officer or agent of the voter's labor union. The assistant must sign an affidavit swearing under penalty of perjury that the voter has appointed him/her to act as the voter's assistant in regard to completing an absentee ballot and/or absentee ballot application, that he/she, in fact, provided assistance to the voter in regard to completing the voter's absentee ballot and/or application, that he/she in no way influenced the decision(s) of the voter (either the decision to appoint the assistant or decisions as to completion of the ballot), and that he/she completed the ballot in a manner consistent in all material respects with the express instructions of the voter.
The Board of Election Supervisors shall conduct all elections held under this article in the Town of Snow Hill corporate limits in accordance with the Charter and other provisions of this article. Except where it would be impracticable, or as otherwise provided in this article, the electoral process for general elections and special elections shall be uniform.
A. 
Qualified voters. Only persons qualified to vote in Town elections, according to the terms of § 23B of the Town Charter shall be registered as qualified voters.
B. 
Qualifications. The qualifications of voters include all of the following:
(1) 
Citizen of the United States.
(2) 
Age of 18 years or older on or before the day of the next Town election.
(3) 
Resident of the State of Maryland for at least 30 days prior to any Town election.
(4) 
Has resided within the corporate limits of the Town for 30 days prior to any Town election.
C. 
Every qualified voter of the Town is entitled to vote in all Town elections for Mayor and for the Councilperson representing his or her voting district.
All special Town elections shall be conducted by the Board of Election Supervisors in the same manner and with the same personnel, as far as practicable, as regular Town elections.
A. 
The Board of Election Supervisors shall give at least 10 days' notice of the election by an advertisement published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the Town, by posting a notice thereof in some public place or places in the Town, and by mailing notices to all of the applicable registered voters.
B. 
The notice shall include:
(1) 
A time and place of the election (specifying the address(es) of all polling places).
(2) 
The offices, candidate names, and questions contained on the ballot.
A. 
In the event of a state of emergency, declared by the Governor in accordance with the provisions of law, that interferes with the electoral process, the emergency proclamation may:
(1) 
Provide for the postponement, until a specific date, of the election in part or all of the state;
(2) 
Specify alternate voting locations; or
(3) 
Specify alternate voting systems.
B. 
If the emergency circumstances, not constituting a declared state of emergency, interfere with the electoral process, the Board of Elections, after conferring with the Mayor and Town Council, may take any action necessary to provide a remedy that is in the public interest and protects the integrity of the electoral process.
A. 
Each person seeking elective office in a Town election must be a qualified candidate and shall file a certificate of candidacy signed by the candidate. Such certificate shall state the following:
(1) 
The office for which the candidate is seeking election;
(2) 
The name of the candidate as he or she wishes it to appear on the ballot (to include at least one given name, the initial letter of all other given names, the surname of the candidate, and any applicable nicknames);
(3) 
The principal residential address of the candidate;
(4) 
A statement that, as of the date the certificate is submitted, the candidate is a registered voter of the Town and that, as of the date of the election, the candidate will meet all the qualifications required by this chapter for the elective office for which he or she is a candidate;
(5) 
Disclosure of any action involving conflict of interest between candidate and the Town; and
(6) 
All disclosures as required under the Town Ethics Code.
B. 
A certificate of candidacy shall be received by the Board of Election Supervisors before 4:30 p.m. on the last business day of March prior to Town election to which the certificate applies. Any filing fees required by the Code must be presented with the certificate of candidacy. No person shall file for candidacy to more than one elective Town public office or hold more than one elective Town public office at any one time.
C. 
Any person seeking candidacy for elected offices with the Town must provide the name and address of their selected Treasurer when submitting their certificate of candidacy. Any certificates presented without this information will not be accepted.
D. 
Town employees are disqualified from being candidates, unless they take an unpaid leave of absence upon the filing of the certificate for Town elective office. The unpaid leave of absence shall be terminated upon withdrawal of the candidate's certificate or loss in the election for Town office, whichever event shall first occur. Any Town employee who gains Town elective office shall be terminated as a Town employee upon the assumption of office.
The Town Manager is authorized to receive, on behalf of the Board of Election Supervisors, all petitions of candidacy, notices of election contest, reports of appointment or resignation, campaign finance or other reports and disclosures required to be filed under the provisions of this chapter. Except as otherwise provided, all reports, petitions or other documents so submitted shall be deemed filed with the Supervisors when received by the Town Manager. All such reports or filings shall be transmitted to the Board of Election Supervisors without delay.
A. 
On the first Tuesday in May in 2012, the Mayor and one Council member shall be elected for a two-year term. On the first Tuesday in May every two years thereafter a Mayor and one Council member shall be elected to serve for a period of two years.
B. 
On the first Tuesday of May in 2013, qualified voters of the Town shall elect two persons to serve as Council members. All Council members shall serve for a period of two years. On the first Tuesday in May every two years thereafter, two positions on the Council shall be filled to serve for a period of two years.
C. 
It shall be the duty of the Board of Election Supervisors to provide for each special and general election a suitable place or places for voting and suitable ballot boxes and ballots and/or voting machines. The ballots and/or voting machines shall show the name of each candidate for elective office, excluding write-in candidates, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, arranged in alphabetical order by office with no party designation of any kind.
D. 
Polling places shall be designated by the Board of Election Supervisors with the approval of the Mayor and Council and shall remain open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All qualified voters who are waiting in line to vote at the time of the official closing of the polls shall be permitted to vote.
E. 
Any person handling absentee ballot packets or voted absentee ballots for or on behalf of a voter must be at least 18 years of age. The following persons shall not handle an absentee ballot packet or a voted absentee ballot for or on behalf of a voter for any reason:
(1) 
Candidates running for elected office.
(2) 
The voter's employer or an agent of his or her employer.
(3) 
Any member or agent of the voter's union.
A. 
Any qualified citizen residing within the corporate limits of the Town of Snow Hill who is registered to vote with the Supervisors of Elections for Worcester County and is at least 18 years of age on election day shall automatically become a registered voter of the Town of Snow Hill and be entitled to vote at general or special elections of the Town of Snow Hill.
B. 
The Supervisors of Elections for Worcester County shall maintain the registration lists in accordance with their usual procedure, including but not limited to removing names because of changes of address and cancellation of registration for failure to vote.
C. 
Challenges to the registration of any individual not believed to be qualified to vote in the Town elections shall be filed with the Supervisors of Elections for Worcester County, Maryland, in accordance with said Supervisors' procedures.
D. 
Voter registration for Town elections shall close on the fifth Friday prior to any Town election.
In any election conducted under this article:
A. 
All voting shall be done by absentee, regular or provisional ballot; and
B. 
Only votes properly and validly cast by regular, absentee or provisional ballot may be counted.
The Board of Elections Supervisors shall, in advance of each election, certify the content and the format of each ballot to be used in an election.
Each ballot shall:
A. 
Be reasonably understandable by voters;
B. 
Present all candidates and questions in a fair and nonpreferential manner;
C. 
Permit the voter to record a vote on questions and on the voter's choices among candidates;
D. 
Protect the secrecy of each voter's choices; and
E. 
Facilitate the accurate tabulation of the choices of the voters.
A. 
The offices to be voted on shall be arranged on the ballot in the following order, as applicable:
(1) 
Mayor.
(2) 
Town Council.
B. 
A ballot shall contain the name of every candidate who is authorized to appear on the ballot. The name of the candidate should be that which he/she provided when filing for candidacy (to include at least one given name, the initial letter of all other given names, the surname of the candidate, and any applicable nicknames) and listed in alphabetical order by last name. In cases of candidates for a Council seat, the name of the candidate shall be listed with reference to the district in which the candidate resides and is seeking to be elected.
C. 
Questions to be voted upon shall be placed on the ballot in the following order:
(1) 
Those relating to the creation or adoption of or the amendment or other change to the Charter of the Town;
(2) 
Those relating to other enactments by the governing body of the Town; and
(3) 
Other questions.
No person shall be denied the right to vote or seek election for or hold public office in the Town for any unlawful and discriminatory reason.
A. 
Qualification for absentee voting. Any qualified voter registered to vote in the elections of the Town of Snow Hill is entitled to vote by absentee ballot.
B. 
Documentation to be kept by the Board. The Board of Election Supervisors shall maintain a full record of absentee voting for the Town of Snow Hill, including, for each absentee voter:
(1) 
The date and time of the Board's receipt of an application for an absentee ballot;
(2) 
The action taken with regard to the application;
(3) 
The appropriate ballot style;
(4) 
The date of issuance of a ballot;
(5) 
If mailed, the address to which the ballot was sent;
(6) 
The date and time of the receipt of a voted absentee ballot; and
(7) 
The identity of any voter's assistant aiding a voter in regard to an absentee ballot or absentee ballot application and copies of all documentation signed and/or submitted by the voter and the voter's assistant in connection with the assistance provided or to be provided by the voter's assistant.
C. 
Application for absentee ballots. An application for an absentee ballot signed by the voter may be made:
(1) 
On a form produced by the Board of Election Supervisors and supplied to the voter on request; or
(2) 
In a written request that includes, at a minimum:
(a) 
The voter's name and residence address.
(b) 
The voter's date of birth.
(c) 
The address to which the ballot is to be mailed, if different from the residence address.
D. 
Deadline for receipt of application. Except for a late application under § 79-18E of this section, application for an absentee ballot must be received by the Board of Election Supervisors not later than seven business days prior to the election, by 4:30 p.m. An application shall be submitted by mail (United States Postal Service), ground courier (e.g., Federal Express), or by hand delivery.
E. 
Late ballot application. Beginning six days prior to an election through the closing of the polls on Election Day, on weekdays during normal business hours (between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.), a member of the Board of Election Supervisors shall be present at Town Hall to receive and process absentee ballot applications. On such days and during such hours, any registered voter qualified to vote under § 79-18A of this article may apply in person to the member of the Board of Elections present at Town Hall for an absentee ballot. A completed absentee ballot application shall be submitted by hand to the member of the Board of Elections present at Town Hall, and the member of the Board of Elections shall immediately determine whether the voter is qualified to vote in the election and otherwise review and process the absentee voter application. Upon a determination that the voter is qualified to vote, the member of the Board of Election Supervisors shall give to the voter an absentee ballot packet. If the voter is determined not to be qualified or eligible to vote, the application will be denied, and the voter shall be informed of such denial in writing.
F. 
Absentee ballot packets.
(1) 
The Board of Election Supervisor will be provided with 500 blank absentee ballots to be used for absentee ballot packets. These ballots should be accounted for by the Board, and any ballots that are not distributed should be returned to the Town Manager the day before the election.
(2) 
Absentee ballots shall be accompanied with instructions for completing and returning the ballot (which instructions shall be uniform and shall be formulated by the Board of Election Supervisors in advance of any election). All absentee ballots shall be clearly and properly completed by the voter (or qualified voter's assistant). An absentee ballot shall be enclosed in specially marked envelopes, the form and the content of which shall be prescribed by the Board of Election Supervisors. All ballots will display the Town raised seal.
(3) 
The Town of Snow Hill uses a three-envelope system. The innermost envelope shall be designated the "ballot envelope," which shall fit inside the envelope designated the "return envelope," both of which, as part of the absentee ballot package to be sent or given to the voter, shall fit inside the envelope designated as the "outgoing envelope."
G. 
Mailing absentee ballot packets.
(1) 
In regard to absentee ballot applications other than late absentee ballot applications (as governed by § 79-18E above), as soon as practicable after receipt of an application for an absentee ballot, the Board of Election Supervisors shall review the application and determine whether the applicant qualifies to vote by absentee ballot.
(2) 
If the applicant qualifies to vote by absentee ballot, the Board of Election Supervisors shall mail the ballot packet to the applicant:
(a) 
As soon as practicable, but not later than three business days after receipt of the request; or
(b) 
If the ballots have not been received from the printer, as soon as practicable, but not more than three business days after the Board of Election Supervisors received delivery of the ballots.
(3) 
If the members of the Board of Elections determine that the applicant is not entitled to vote by absentee ballot, the applicant may appeal such determination to the members of the Board of Election Supervisors, in conformance with Code § 79-23.
(4) 
Not more than one absentee ballot may be issued to a voter unless the Board of Election Supervisors determines upon a sufficient showing that an absentee ballot previously issued to the voter has been lost, destroyed, or spoiled.
H. 
Return of voted ballot.
(1) 
When voted and returned to the Board of Elections, an absentee ballot shall be enclosed and sealed in a ballot envelope, on which has been printed an oath prescribed by the Board of Elections, and such oath must be sworn to and executed by the person voting upon and submitting the absentee ballot. All ballot envelopes must be placed inside the return envelope and sealed.
(2) 
Completed absentee ballots shall be returned to the Board of Election Supervisors in one of two ways:
(a) 
By mail. Voted absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before the day of the election and received on or before 4:00 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday in May in order to be counted.
(b) 
By hand delivery. Voted absentee ballots may be hand-delivered to a member of the Board of Election Supervisors present at Town Hall, during regular business hours, on weekdays, beginning six days prior to the election, through the day before the election. Voted absentee ballots returned the day of the election must be delivered to the Board of Election Supervisors at the polling site prior to the close of the election.
I. 
Ballot and voter assistance.
(1) 
A voter who requires assistance in completing an absentee ballot by reason of disability, inability to write, or inability to read the ballot may be assisted by any individual:
(a) 
Who is not a candidate on the ballot to be completed;
(b) 
Who is not the voter's employer or an agent of the employer;
(c) 
Who is not an officer or agent of the voter's labor union;
(d) 
Who is at least 18 years of age; and
(e) 
Who is not a person providing professional services to a candidate for the purposes of being elected to public office in the Town of Snow Hill.
(2) 
An individual rendering assistance under this section (a "voter's assistant") shall execute an affidavit as prescribed by the Board of Elections. Such affidavit shall swear under penalty of perjury that the voter has appointed him/her to act as the voter's assistant in regard to completing an absentee ballot, that he/she, in fact, provided assistance to the voter in regard to completing the voter's absentee ballot, that he/she in no way influenced the decision(s) of the voter (either the decision to appoint the assistant or decisions as to completion of the ballot), and that he/she completed the ballot in a manner consistent in all material respects with the express instructions of the voter.
J. 
Absentee ballot counting
(1) 
On the Tuesday following an election, the Board of Election Supervisors shall meet at its designated counting center to count the absentee ballots cast in that election in accordance with the regulations and guidelines established in Chapter 79 of the Town Code. Ten randomly selected absentee ballots will be withheld from the count and will be counted (along with other absentee ballots received by mail later than the Tuesday following the election) on the fourth Tuesday in May. Publication and certification of election returns and results shall be handled in accordance with § 79-21 of this chapter.
(2) 
Upon final count of all absentee ballots, the Board of Elections will certify the results to the Town Manager, who shall cause the results to be published at Town Hall, as well as recorded in the minutes of the June meeting following an election.
(3) 
Absentee ballots delivered by hand delivery after the day of the election (to the Town Hall or the Board of Elections) shall not be counted. Absentee ballots delivered by mail and bearing a postmark that is later than the day of the election shall not be counted. Any absentee ballots delivered by mail and received by the Town after 4:00 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday in May in the month of an election shall not be counted.
(4) 
The Board of Election Supervisors shall not:
(a) 
Open any envelope containing a returned absentee ballot prior to the closing of the polls for that election.
(b) 
Delay the commencement of the counting to await the receipt of late-arriving ballots.
(c) 
Reject an absentee ballot except by simple majority vote and in accordance with the Charter and the Town Code's regulations. The Board shall reject an absentee ballot if:
[1] 
The voter died before election day; or
[2] 
The voter failed to sign the required oath on the ballot envelope; or
[3] 
A voter's assistant failed to sign the required oath included in or with the ballot package; or
[4] 
The Board received more than one ballot from the same voter for the same election in the same ballot envelope; or
[5] 
The Board determines, based on credible and clear and convincing proof, that the ballot is otherwise fraudulent or unlawfully completed.
(d) 
If the Board of Election Supervisors receives more than one legally sufficient ballot, in separate envelopes, from the same voter, the Board shall:
[1] 
Count only the first ballot received based on postmark date with the latest properly signed oath; and
[2] 
Reject the other later-received ballot(s).
(e) 
If the intent of the voter is not clearly demonstrated as to a particular office or question, the Board shall reject only the vote for that office or question.
(f) 
If an absentee voter casts a vote for an individual once registered as a candidate, but who has ceased to be a qualified and registered candidate, the vote for that candidate may not be counted, but that vote does not invalidate the remainder of the voter's ballot.
A. 
Absentee ballots that have been given to the United States Postal Service for delivery by mail to the Town shall be held by the Snow Hill Post Office in the Town's post office box until collected from such box in accordance with this section. Two members of the Board of Election Supervisors, escorted by a uniformed police officer from the Snow Hill Police Department, shall collect absentee ballots at three separate points in time: five days prior to the election; one day prior to the election; and on election day. On each of these occasions, the envelopes shall be counted, with both members of the Board of Election Supervisors and the uniformed police officer signing an acknowledgement of the number of retrieved absentee ballots. The ballots shall be stored in a secure location until election day.
B. 
Election records and documents shall be sealed and preserved in the Snow Hill Police Department Evidence Room for no less than four years from the date of the election.
A. 
Qualifications to vote with provisional ballot. A voter shall be issued a provisional ballot at the polling place on the day of election if:
(1) 
The voter's name is not on the voter rolls; or
(2) 
The voter did not provide proper identification upon request; or
(3) 
The voter's registration is pending because of clerical reasons; or
(4) 
The voter is challenged by a member of the Board of Elections for any reason.
B. 
Voting by provisional ballot.
(1) 
Upon the occurrence of one of the events or circumstances listed in § 79-20A, the Board of Election Supervisors will provide the voter with a provisional ballot application. Once completed and signed, the voter will be issued a provisional ballot, in a form established by the Board of Election Supervisors.
(2) 
After voting the provisional ballot, the voter will seal the voted ballot in the envelope provided and put the envelope in the designated area provided by the Board of Election Supervisors with the application attached.
C. 
Provisional ballot assistance.
(1) 
A voter who requires assistance in completing a provisional ballot by reason of disability, inability to write, or inability to read may be assisted by any individual other than:
(a) 
A candidate who is on the ballot; or
(b) 
The voter's employer or an agent of the employer; or
(c) 
An officer or agent of the voter's union; or
(d) 
A poll watcher.
(2) 
A voter may request assistance from a member of the Board of Elections.
(3) 
An individual rendering assistance under this section shall execute an affidavit as prescribed by the Board of Election Supervisors and included in the instructions under § 79-18I of this chapter.
D. 
Eligibility of a provisional ballot application/voter will be determined by the Board of Election Supervisors after the election and before the absentee ballots are counted on the fourth Tuesday in May, prior to the next Town meeting following the election.
E. 
Provisional ballot record. The Supervisors of the Board of Elections shall maintain a full record of provisional voting in the Town.
F. 
If the Board of Election Supervisors rejects a provisional ballot/application, the Board must notify the provisional ballot voter in writing, stating the reason(s) for the rejection of the provisional ballot/application.
G. 
If the Board of Election Supervisors approves the provisional ballot application, the sealed envelope containing the provisional ballot shall be detached and separated from such application and included with and among absentee ballots to be counted. This shall be done so as to maintain the secrecy of all provisional ballots.
In accordance with all applicable Code and Charter provisions, the Board of Elections shall count all qualified regular ballots, absentee ballots, and provisional ballots in its custody, and shall announce and publish the uncertified results of such count at the closing of the polls. The official election results, however, shall not be finalized and certified until the fourth Wednesday in May following the election. Candidates shall be notified of the certified results and all election results shall be posted at Town Hall and on the town website. Between any announcement or publication of votes counted by the Board of Election Supervisors and the final certification of election results, the vote count shall remain non-final and subject to change and, during such time, the Board shall count all absentee ballots mailed and bearing a post mark on or before the election day and received after the election day; hear and decide any timely appeals or contests; act upon all provisional ballot applications; and take any other action necessary to arrive at final and certified election results on the fourth Wednesday of May following the election.
In the event of a tie vote in the election of Mayor and/or Council member, a runoff election of the tied candidates shall be conducted on the fourth Tuesday after the election. If, due to the date of a special election, a runoff election would occur on a Town, state, county or federal election day or holiday, the runoff election shall be scheduled on a date which is not a holiday during the fourth week following the election.
A. 
Contests/complaints made before election day. Any candidate, voter or other person wishing to file a complaint or contest (concerning any matter involving or affecting the voter rolls, voter registration, ballots, campaigns, or any other matter concerning voting or the election) prior to the election day shall submit said complaint or contest in writing to the Town Manager, who will give it to the Chairperson of the Board of Election Supervisors as soon as practicable upon receipt. The Board of Election Supervisors will hold a public meeting within three days from the receipt of the complaint/contest. The complainant shall be notified of the meeting location, date and time. The Board of Election Supervisors shall promptly issue its findings and conclusions in writing, and shall provide a copy of same to the complainant. The Board of Election Supervisors may, but shall not be required to, take steps outside of the aforementioned public meeting to investigate the matters at issue in the contest/complaint. Subject to the provisions of the Maryland Public Information Act, any complaints/contests filed with the Town hereunder, as well as the Board's written findings and conclusions, shall be posted at Town Hall and on the town website, and shall otherwise be made publicly available upon request.
B. 
Contests/complaints made on or after election day.
(1) 
Any candidate, voter, or other person who wishes to contest the results of an election, the counting or failure to count a ballot, the granting or denial of an absentee ballot or provisional ballot application, or any other matter relating to voting or elections, on or after election day, shall give written notice thereof to the Town Manager, to be promptly given to the Board of Election Supervisors. Such notice shall be given to the Town Manager no later than three working days after the date the results of the election are certified to the Council. The written notice shall be signed and made under oath, under the penalty for false statement provided under the Town Code.
(2) 
Upon receiving a notice of election contest made hereunder, the Town Manager shall immediately refer the notice to the Board of Election Supervisors. The Mayor, Council and all candidates potentially affected by the contest shall be notified that an election contest has been submitted. The Board of Election Supervisors shall conduct a factual investigation of the contest, shall hold a public hearing on such contest, and shall decide the contest no later than seven days after the receipt of the notice of election contest by the Town Manager. A successful candidate whose election is contested pursuant to this section shall not be sworn in until the contest is resolved in the candidate's favor.
(3) 
The Mayor, the Council, all candidates who were potentially affected by the contest, and the person who submitted the election contest, shall be immediately notified of the Board of Election Supervisors' decision in writing via the United States Postal Service. The Board of Election Supervisors shall provide the Town Manager with a written statement of its decision, and such statement shall be kept on file by the Town Manager as a matter of public record. The formal decision shall be posted at Town Hall, as well as the town website, and shall otherwise be made publicly available upon request, in accordance with the Maryland Public Information Act.
C. 
Any candidate or voter aggrieved by any decision or action of the Board of Election Supervisors shall have the right to appeal such decision or action to the Circuit Court of Worcester County, Maryland. Appeals shall be taken by way of petition for judicial review filed with the Circuit Court within 30 days from the date of the decision of the Board of Election Supervisors, and such appeals shall be heard de novo and in conformance with state law governing administrative appeals. The decision or action of the Board of Election Supervisors shall be implemented by the Town pending a resolution of any appeal to the Circuit Court.
D. 
Contests/complaints (whether submitted pursuant to Subsection A or B above) shall be decided by a simple majority of the members of the Board of Election Supervisors present to hear and decide such contest. No contest shall be heard or decided unless a quorum consisting of three of the five members of the Board of Election Supervisors is convened for that purpose.
E. 
A complainant's contest or complaint (whether submitted pursuant Subsection to A or B above) shall provide reasonably adequate detail from which the Board of Election Supervisors can ascertain the nature and substance of the contest, and the factual or other basis for the contest. The notice shall include the name, address, and phone number of the person submitting it.
No person shall canvass, electioneer or post any political matter in any polling place or within a one-hundred-foot radius from the entrance and exit of the building where ballots are cast; provided, however, that the Board of Election Supervisors may designate a specific area within this radius for electioneering and the dissemination of election-related information. The designation of such an area is permissible only if it will not impede access to the polling place and will not require any person to traverse the location in order to access the polling place. Polling places and voting stations shall be frequently cleaned to ensure the removal of candidate literature and paraphernalia.
No person shall willfully or knowingly impersonate another person in order to vote, or vote or attempt to vote under a false name. No person may vote more than once for the same candidate; vote for more than one candidate for a particular office; vote more than once for the same ballot question; cast more than one ballot in the same election; or vote in more than one election district.
Effective July 1, 2007, if you have been convicted of a felony and have completed serving a court-ordered sentence of imprisonment, including any term of parole or probation for the conviction, you are eligible to register to vote. You do not qualify to register to vote if you have been convicted of buying or selling votes.
A person may not hinder or impede the conduct of the Election Board by breach of the peace, disorder, or violence or threat of violence.
No one may fraudulently tamper with election records of any kind, whether on paper or in any form, or interfere in any way with the casting of a vote by a person who the Election Board member knows is lawfully entitled to vote at an election.
A. 
In a polling place on election day, an Election Board member may not willfully and knowingly:
(1) 
Permit a ballot or ballots to be placed into a ballot box prior to the time for voting; or
(2) 
Place a ballot in a ballot box unless the ballot is offered by a properly registered voter or is a provisional ballot placed with other provisional ballots of the same character.
B. 
A person may not:
(1) 
Cause or permit a ballot, including a provisional ballot, to be cast or deposited in a ballot receptacle, voting device, or other receptacle designed for the collection of ballots other than by a person entitled under this article to cast a ballot; or
(2) 
Substitute, alter, add, or remove a submitted ballot from a ballot receptacle, voting device, or other receptacle designed for the collection of ballots, except when instructed to do so by the election director.
A. 
A person may not willfully and falsely take an oath or affirmation prescribed:
(1) 
By the Snow Hill Board of Elections; or
(2) 
Pursuant to this article.
B. 
A person may not willfully induce or procure, or offer to induce or procure, another person to willfully and falsely take an oath or affirmation prescribed:
(1) 
By the Snow Hill Board of Elections; or
(2) 
Pursuant to this article.
An Election Board member or other election official may not willfully and knowingly:
A. 
Make, sign, publish, or deliver a false certificate or statement of the result of the election or any other false report of any kind; or
B. 
Deface, destroy, or conceal any statement, tally, certificate, or other document entrusted to the official's care and custody.
A. 
A person with custody of election records may not willfully and knowingly:
(1) 
Destroy, deface, falsify, remove, or conceal any record related to voting;
(2) 
Make a fraudulent entry or alteration, or permit another person to make a fraudulent entry or alteration, of any record related to voting; or
(3) 
Allow any other person to do the acts prohibited in Subsection A(l) and A(2) of this section.
B. 
Any person who does not have custody over election items may not:
(1) 
Do an act prohibited by this section; or
(2) 
Advise, procure, or abet the commission of an act prohibited by this section.
C. 
This section does not apply to the disposition of obsolete records in the ordinary course of the operation of the Snow Hill Board of Elections.
A person may not willfully:
A. 
Conceal, damage, or destroy voting equipment used or intended to be used on the day of election; or
B. 
Remove voting equipment from the custody of the election judges or other election officials.
A. 
A person may not willfully and knowingly:
(1) 
Tamper with, damage, or attempt to damage any voting equipment that is used or will be used in an election; or
(2) 
Prevent or attempt to prevent the correct operation of any voting equipment that is used or will be used on the day of election.
B. 
An unauthorized person may not make or have in the person's possession a key to any voting equipment that is used or will be used on the day of election.
A person may not remove, deface, or destroy equipment or supplies placed in a polling place by election officials during an election.
A person may not make an electronic submission of a prescribed form, affidavit, campaign finance report, or other document on behalf of another person without that person's express consent.
A. 
A person may not directly or indirectly give, offer, or promise money, aid, a gift, an advantage, a preferment, or any other valuable thing to another person for the purpose of inducing or procuring that person to vote or refrain from voting for or against an individual, question, or measure at an election.
B. 
A person may not directly or indirectly receive, accept, request, or solicit money, aid, a gift, an advantage, a preferment, or any other valuable thing from another person for the purpose of inducing or procuring a third person to vote or refrain from voting for or against an individual, question, or measure at an election.
C. 
A person may not vote or refrain from voting for or against an individual, question, or measure at an election in consideration of money, aid, a gift, an advantage, a preferment, or any other valuable thing paid, received, accepted, or promised to the advantage of that person or of another person.
A. 
At the first regular Council meeting after each election, the Board of Election Supervisors shall officially report and certify the election results to the Mayor and Council.
B. 
Write-in votes for Mayor or Councilperson shall not be accepted or tallied by the Election Supervisors unless the write-in candidate has officially filed.
C. 
In the event that there is no provision in this chapter or the Charter pertaining to a given aspect of elections, then other applicable law and prior Town practices or customs (to the extent that such prior Town practices or customs are reasonably documented and clearly ascertainable by reference to and review of valid Town records) shall govern.
D. 
Election records and documents shall be secured and preserved in the Snow Hill Police Department Evidence Room for no less than four years from the date of the election. Whenever records are reviewed, a Board of Election Supervisor must be present with a sworn police officer to ensure no records are removed from this location.
Anyone who violates the sections of Article I of this chapter will be found guilty of a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months' imprisonment and no more than $1,000 fine.
A. 
Advertising. No person, candidate, campaign manager, treasurer, political committee, or similar entity shall expend any money for printing, publication or broadcasting of any political matter whatsoever, unless the matter purports on its face to be paid political advertisement and printed, published or broadcast by the authority of the person, campaign manager or treasurer for the named candidate, political committee, or similar entity
B. 
Books, records, and receipts. Every candidate for the office of Mayor or Town Council for the Town shall appoint a Treasurer who shall have the responsibility of maintaining detailed, full and accurate accounts in a proper book or books to be called "account books." The account books shall contain a detailed record of contributions, monies, loans (including personal contributions, loans and monies), or valuable things received, including the date each contribution was received and the name and address of each contributor. The account books shall also contain a detailed record of all disbursements made by the candidate or his or her representative acting on his or her behalf. Such account books shall be maintained by the candidate or his or her representative for at least one year following the date of the election.
C. 
Campaign contributions.
(1) 
No candidate for Mayor or Town Council shall receive campaign contributions in excess of $250 per individual or entity per campaign in cash and/or in-kind services of a commercial nature.
(2) 
The contributions of a candidate or the candidate's spouse to the candidate's own campaign are not subject to limitations, but must be reported as required in other provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
Contributions of such in-kind services of a commercial nature shall be valued at a rate commensurate with the cost of purchasing similar materials or services.
(4) 
All campaign contributions shall be received by the date of the election. Any campaign contributions received after the date of the election shall be returned to the contributor.
D. 
Financial disclosure statements.
(1) 
The candidate and/or Treasurer shall file a complete and accurate financial disclosure statement detailing the contents of the account books no later than seven days prior to the election. The financial disclosure statement shall include, but not be limited to, the name, address, amount of contribution and the date all contributions were received. Contributions of in-kind materials or services shall be valued as stated above. Each financial disclosure statement filed shall also contain a full and complete record of expenses and list any expenses incurred but not yet paid.
(2) 
A financial disclosure statement shall be filed no later than 45 days after the date of the election. After payment of all campaign expenditures, any surplus funds shall be paid by the Treasurer to either the Town of Snow Hill to help defray the expenses of the election; a charitable organization as defined in the Annotated Code of Maryland; or a political club, committee, or party of the candidate's choice.
(3) 
No financial disclosure statements shall be required if the contributions received total less than $300 for the election; however, a statement under oath shall be filed by the candidate and Treasurer that no financial disclosure statement is required pursuant to this section. Such statement, if applicable, shall be filed seven days prior to the election.
(4) 
Each financial disclosure statement shall include a representation certifying under oath that the contents of the statement are true and correct and shall be signed by the candidate and Treasurer.
(5) 
The foregoing provisions shall also apply to unsuccessful candidates.
E. 
Enforcement; appeals.
(1) 
It shall be the duty of the Town Election Board to enforce this article and to ensure compliance by all candidates for Town office.
(2) 
Any candidate or voter aggrieved by any decision or action of the Board of Election Supervisors shall have the right to appeal such decision or action to the Circuit Court of Worcester County, Maryland. Appeals shall be taken by way of petition for judicial review filed with the Circuit Court within 30 days from the date of the decision of the Board of Election Supervisors, and such appeals shall be heard de novo and in conformance with state law governing administrative appeals. The decision or action of the Board of Election Supervisors shall be implemented by the Town pending a resolution of any appeal to the Circuit Court.
F. 
Late filing fees. There shall be a late filing fee for each financial disclosure statement which is not filed within the time prescribed. The fine shall be $20 per day for the first five days and $10 per day thereafter for each date that the report is overdue. The maximum fine to apply to any one report shall be $250. Weekends and holidays shall be excluded in such time computations. Any fines assessed pursuant to this chapter shall be the personal responsibility of the candidate and Treasurer and may not be paid for by using campaign funds.
G. 
Penalty.
(1) 
The penalty for violation of this article, except for late filing as provided for above, shall be a fine of up to $400, as determined by the Town Election Board.
(2) 
In the event the candidate fails to pay the fine within 30 days, the Town shall obtain a judgment against the violator in a court of competent jurisdiction.