Every person who meets all of the following qualifications may vote:
Is a citizen of the United States;
Is eighteen (18) years of age or older;
Beginning with the year 1999 and ending December 31, 1999, has resided within the Town of Bel Air for at least thirty days preceding any Town election or referendum;
Beginning January 1, 2000, and for any subsequent year prior to January 1 2002, has resided within the Town of Bel Air for at least 24 days preceding any Town election or referendum;
Beginning with January 1, 2002 and for all elections thereafter, has resided within the Town of Bel Air for at least 21 days preceding any Town election or referendum;
Is not constitutionally regulated or prohibited by the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 33, Section 3-102b;
Is a registered voter of the Town of Bel Air, for at least the same number of days as the applicable residency requirement as stated herein preceding any Town election or referendum.
Elections shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every odd numbered year for the office of Commissioners. Special elections authorized by Section 307 or referendums specifically authorized by this Charter or under State law may be held as required under the provisions of the Charter or of the State law, authorizing the special election or referendum.
[Amended by Charter Res. No. 112-03, effective 1-20-2004]
The Board of Commissioners shall have the power to provide by ordinance for the conduct or registration, and elections and for the prevention of fraud in connection therewith and for a recount of ballots whenever necessary. No such ordinance shall be in any way inconsistent with any section of this Charter.
Wherever the right of referendum is provided in this Charter it shall be exercised in accordance with the following procedures:
No resolution subject to referendum shall become effective at any time before forty-one days from date of its passage and the effect of any ordinance subject to referendum may be suspended if petitioned to referendum at any time during the forty day period following its enactment. No ordinance shall become effective if a petition for referendum requesting that the ordinance or proposed resolution or Charter amendment subject to referendum be submitted to the voters of the Town, signed by ten percent (10%) or more of the persons who are qualified to vote in the Town elections, be received by the twentieth (20th) day following the passage of the ordinance or proposed resolution or Charter amendment. In order to initiate a referendum a petition for referendum meeting the requirements of subsection (b) must be presented to the Board of Commissioners within, on or before the fortieth day after a resolution or an ordinance is passed.
A petition for referendum shall be signed by twenty percent (20%) or more of the persons who are qualified to vote in Town elections and shall request that the ordinance or proposed resolution or Charter amendment subject to referendum be submitted to the voters of the Town. Each person signing the petition shall indicate thereon both their name and residence address. Upon receiving a petition for referendum, the Board of Commissioners shall direct that the Board of Election Judges or its appointed agent verify that all persons who circulated and/or signed the petition are registered to vote in Town elections, and shall consider the petition as of no effect if it is signed by fewer than twenty percent (20%) of the persons who are registered to vote in the Town.
If the petition for referendum complies with the requirements of subsection (b), the Board of Commissioners shall by ordinary resolution specify the day and the hours for the election at which the question shall be submitted to the voters at a regular Town election or at a special election in the discretion of the Board. In the event a special election is designated, it shall be held within a period of not less than forty-five (45) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the passage of the resolution, providing for the referendum. The resolution providing for the referendum shall specify the exact wording which is to be placed on the ballots or voting machines when the question is submitted to the voters of the Town.