THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF ELECTIONS
There shall be a Board of Supervisors of Elections consisting of three members who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Council on or before the first Monday in March in every second odd-numbered year. The term of members of the Board of Supervisors of Elections shall begin on the first Monday in March in the year in which they are appointed and shall run for four years. Members of the Board of Supervisors of Elections shall be qualified voters of the town and shall not hold or be candidates for any elective office during their term of office. The Board shall appoint one of its members as Chairman. Vacancies on the Board shall be filled by the Mayor with the approval of the Council for the remainder of the unexpired term. The compensation of the members of the Board shall be determined by the Council.
Any member of the Board of Supervisors of Elections may be removed for good cause by the Council, if in the judgment of the Council the member is not properly performing or will not properly perform the duties of the position. Before removal, the member of the Board of Supervisors of Elections to be removed shall be given a written copy of the charges against him and shall have a public hearing on them before the Council if he so requests within 10 days after receiving the written copy of the charges.
The Board of Supervisors of Elections shall be in charge of the registration of voters, nominations, and all town elections. The Board may appoint election clerks or other employees to assist it in any of its duties.
The Board of Supervisors of Elections shall give at least two weeks notice of every registration day and every election by an advertisement published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the town and by posting a notice thereof in some public place or places in the town.
[Amended 4-13-2006 by Res.No. 2006-01]
There shall be a registration ongoing, until the first Monday in April in every odd-numbered year, of qualified persons not registered to vote. If necessary for the performance of registration or the convenience of the citizens of the town, the Mayor may designate additional days as registration days. Registration shall be permanent, and no person shall be entitled to vote in town elections unless he is registered. It shall be the duty of the Board of Supervisors of Elections to keep the registration lists up to date by striking from the lists persons known to have died or to have moved out of the town. The Council is hereby authorized and directed by ordinance to adopt and enforce any provisions necessary to establish and maintain a system of permanent registration and to provide for a registration when necessary.
[Amended 4-13-2006 byRes. No. 2006-01; 2-9-2012 by Res. No. 2011-01]
Every person who is a citizen of the United States; is at least 18 years of age; is registered to vote with the Kent County Board of Elections; is a resident of Maryland that has resided continuously within the corporate limits of Rock Hall since the January 1st immediately preceding any town election held pursuant to Section 609 of the Charter of the Town of Rock Hall; and is registered in accordance with the provisions of this Charter shall be a qualified voter of the town. For special elections, the voter must have resided within the corporate limits of Rock Hall for the 90 days preceding the election. Every qualified voter of the town shall be entitled to vote at any or all town elections.
[Amended 4-13-2006 by Res. No. 2006-01]
If any person shall feel aggrieved by the action of the Board of Supervisors of Elections in refusing to register or in striking off the name of any person, or by any other action, such person may appeal to the Circuit Court for Kent County.
THE NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE
Persons may be nominated for elective office in the town by filing a certificate of nomination at the office of the Board of Supervisors of Elections on or before the second Monday in April next preceding the town election. No person shall file for nomination to more than one elective town public office or hold more than one elective town public office at any one time. Any person desiring to withdraw his candidacy must do so seven days prior to the election.
Persons may be nominated for elective office in the town by filing a certificate of nomination at the office of the Board of Supervisors of Elections on or before the second Monday in April next preceding the town election. No person shall file for nomination to more than one elective town public office or hold more than one elective town public office at any one time. Any person desiring to withdraw his candidacy may do so at least seven days prior to the election.
Certificate of nomination. A certificate in the following form shall be sufficient:
[Amended 4-26-1991 by Res. No. 91-4]
[Amended 4-26-1991 by Res. No. 91-4]
On the first Saturday of May 1991, and every alternate two years thereafter, the qualified voters of the town shall elect one person as Mayor and two persons as Councilmembers for terms of four years.
On the first Saturday of May 1993, and every alternate two years thereafter, the qualified voters of the town shall elect two Councilmembers for terms of four years.
Section 610. Conduct of Elections
[Amended 4-26-1991 by Res. No. 91-4]
It shall be the duty of the Board of Supervisors of Elections to provide for each general and special 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 nominated for elective office in accordance with the provisions of this Charter, arranged in alphabetical order by office with no party designation of any kind. The Board of Supervisors of Elections shall keep polls open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on election days or for longer hours if the Council requires it.
[Amended 4-13-2006 by Res. No. 2006-01]
The Board of Supervisors of Elections shall make provisions for an absentee ballot for those persons who are qualified to vote and may be unavoidably absent from the town for any reason on election day or for those persons who are qualified to vote and whose physical disability will prevent them from being present at the polls on election day.
A qualified voter of the town desiring to vote at any town election as an absentee voter shall make application in writing to the Clerk-Treasurer for an absentee ballot. An application for an absentee ballot must be received by the close of business on the Friday eight days prior to election day. After such deadline, a late application must be completed in person at the Clerk-Treasurer's office in the Rock Hall Town Offices during normal business hours.
[Amended 2-9-2012 by Res. No. 2011-01]
Upon receipt of said application, the Clerk-Treasurer shall promptly mail or deliver a ballot to the qualified applicant which shall be marked at the top "absentee ballot." Underneath these words shall be printed the following instructions:
"Mark ballot by placing an "X" in proper blank after each candidate question."
Two envelopes shall be provided with absentee ballots:
Return envelope. One envelope shall be known as the "return envelope" and shall be addressed to Chairman of Board of Supervisors of Elections of the Town of Rock Hall, Rock Hall, Maryland 21661.
Ballot envelope. The other envelope shall be know as the "ballot envelope" and shall contain the town absentee ballot.
All absentee ballots must be received by the Board of Supervisors of Elections of the town election not later than the closing of the polls on town election day. Ballots not received prior to such closing will not be counted.
No ballot envelopes shall be opened or unfolded prior to the closing of the polls and the beginning of tabulation of all ballots. No absentee ballot shall be rejected except by unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors of Elections. Candidates or designee may be present for tabulation of ballots.
All special town elections shall be conducted by the Board of Supervisors of Elections in the same manner and with the same personnel, as far as practicable, as regular town elections.
Within 48 hours after the closing of the polls, the Board of Supervisors of Elections shall determine the votes cast for each candidate or question and shall certify the results of the election to the Clerk-Treasurer of the town, who shall record the results in the minutes of the Council.
[Added 2-9-2012 by Res. No. 2011-01]
In the event of a tie vote in the election for the office of Mayor, there shall be a special runoff election between the tied candidates, to be held as soon as is practicable following the election. In the event of a tie vote in the election for the office of Councilmember, the Board of Elections shall provide for an impartial method of chance to select a winner from the pool of tied candidates.
All ballots used in any town election shall be preserved for at least six months from the date of election.
[Amended 3-29-1991 by Res. No. 91-3]
In case of a vacancy on the Council for any reason, the Council shall, within 45 days of the occurrence of the vacancy, elect some qualified person to fill such vacancy until the next regular town election. At the next regular election the persons receiving the two highest votes shall fill the regular four-year terms. Any vacancy in an unexpired term shall be filled by person(s) receiving the next highest vote(s). In case of a vacancy in the office of Mayor for any reason, the Council, within 45 days, shall elect some qualified person from the existing Council to fill the vacancy until the next regular town election. The results of all votes filling vacancies shall be recorded in the minutes of the Council.
If the Council fails to fill a vacancy within 45 days of the occurrence of the vacancy, the Town Board of Election Supervisors shall call a special election to fill the vacancy to be held not sooner than 90 days and not later than 120 days following the occurrence of the vacancy. In the event that the resignation occurs within 120 days of the regular election, the Council may leave the seat vacant until the next regular election.
Any resignation by the Mayor or a Council member must be in writing and delivered to the Clerk-Treasurer.
[Added 10-10-2013 by Charter Res. No. 2013-03]
All elected officials of the town shall be subject to recall and removal from office by the registered voters of the town in accordance with the provisions of this section; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to the following:
An elected official of the Town that has held office for 90 days or less;
An elected official in whose favor a recall election has been determined within the last two years; or
An elected official who, pursuant to Section 608A of this Charter, has failed to timely file a certificate of nomination or, having timely filed a certificate of nomination, withdraws his or her candidacy.
A recall petition shall be addressed to "The Mayor and Council of the Town of Rock Hall," filed with the Clerk-Treasurer, and shall contain the following:
A recall petition shall not address more than one elected official.
A recall petition shall be on a form provided by the Clerk-Treasurer and available at the Town Office during normal business hours. The Clerk-Treasurer shall also provide any individual requesting a recall petition form with the number of registered voters of the town as of the date upon which such form is requested.
Upon receiving a recall petition, the Clerk-Treasurer shall immediately notify the Council that a recall petition has been filed. Within 15 days of the filing of a recall petition, the Clerk-Treasurer shall prepare a dated certificate verifying whether the recall petition meets the requirements of Subsection (B)(1). The certificate shall be forwarded to the Mayor and Council upon its completion.
If the certificate states that the recall petition does not meet the requirements of Subsection (B)(1), the Clerk-Treasurer shall send written notice thereof to the petitioner. Such written notice shall specify the defect(s) in the recall petition and advise the petitioner of the right to refile a proper recall petition, without prejudice.
If the certificate shows the recall petition meets the requirements of Subsection (B)(1), the matter shall be placed on the Council's agenda for a special public meeting to be held within 45 days of the date of the certificate, at which there shall be a public hearing, immediately after which the Council shall take action on the recall petition. Notice of the special public meeting shall be published for at least two weeks prior thereto in a newspaper or newspapers having general circulation in the town. The Council may prescribe additional methods of publication reasonably deemed to provide notice of the special public meeting.
The elected official whose recall is sought shall continue to hold office until the elected official resigns or is recalled, but shall not participate in any discussions or actions related to the recall.
Special public meeting.
During the public hearing portion of the special public meeting described in subsection 4(b), those petitioning for and those opposed to recall, as well as the elected official who is the subject of the recall petition, shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard.
Immediately following the public hearing portion of the special public meeting, the Council shall adopt a resolution ordering that a recall election be held and setting a date therefor, which shall not be less than 30 days nor more than 60 days from the date of the special public meeting, unless:
Notice of the date of a recall election date shall be published for at least two weeks prior to the election in a newspaper or newspapers having general circulation in the town. The Council may prescribe additional methods of publication that are reasonably deemed to provide notice of the recall election.
The recall election shall be conducted by the Board of Supervisors of Elections in the same manner and with the same personnel, as far as practicable, as regular town elections, except as otherwise provided in this section.
The recall election ballot shall read: "Shall (name of elected official) continue in the office of (insert office name) of the Town of Rock Hall?" Following this question shall be the words "Yes" and "No," which the voter shall use to vote for or against recall. The question of recall shall be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast.
Results of the recall election. The question of recall shall be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast. If a majority of votes cast is in favor of recall, the elected official's term of office shall immediately terminate upon the certification of the election. If the majority of votes cast are not in favor of recall, the elected official's term shall continue unaffected.
Filling of vacancy created by recall. The successor of any elected official removed by recall shall be selected in the usual course of filling vacancies as set forth in Section 614 of this Charter; provided, however, that an elected official removed by recall is not eligible to fill the vacancy created by his or her recall.
Women shall have equal privileges with men in registering, voting and holding town offices. Whenever the masculine gender has been used as to any registering, voting, or holding town office, it shall be construed to include the feminine gender.
The Council shall have the power to provide by ordinance in every respect not covered by the provisions of this Charter for the conduct of registration, nomination, and town elections and for the prevention of fraud in connection therewith and for a recount of ballots in case of doubt or fraud.
[Amended 4-13-2006 by Res. No.2006-01]
Any person who: (1) willfully and knowingly registers to vote in a fraudulent or unlawful manner; (2) willfully and knowingly votes in a fraudulent or illegal manner; (3) is ineligible to vote as a result of being convicted of an infamous crime and votes or attempts to vote; (4) disobeys a lawful command of an election official at a polling place on election day; (5) hinders or impedes the conduct of electoral activities through breach of the peace, disorder, violence or threat of violence; (6) interferes with the performance of an election official's official duties or interferes with individuals lawfully present at polling places; (7) fraudulently or illegally tampers, destroys or interferes with ballots, election records, voting equipment or supplies is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Any election official who: (1) willfully neglects their official duties or who engages in corrupt, illegal or fraudulent activity; or (2) willfully or knowingly falsifies or allows the falsification of reports or who defaces or harms any document entrusted to the official's custody is guilty of a misdemeanor. Any election judge who: (1) willfully and knowingly interferes with the right or ability of an otherwise qualified individual to vote or allows an unqualified individual to vote; (2) improperly places a ballot in a box or alters a ballot in any way; or (3) willfully or knowingly falsifies or allows the falsification of reports or defaces or harms any document entrusted to the official's custody shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any officer or employee of the town government who is convicted of a misdemeanor under the provisions of this section shall immediately, upon conviction thereof, cease to hold such office or employment.