Corporate candidate appeals Md. ruling that it can't vote
The issue is key to the company's much-hyped 8th District bid. Under Maryland law, candidates in Republican primaries must be registered Republicans.
For humans, this is usually a routine matter. For corporations running for Congress, most everything, it seems, is more complicated.
Earlier this month, the Montgomery Board of Elections wrote to Murray Hill, notifying the 5-year-old Silver Spring public relations firm that it did not meet legal requirements to vote. (Among other things, registered voters must be at least 18 years old in Maryland.) The Montgomery officials said they were taking their cues from state elections officials.
On Wednesday, representatives of Murray Hill came to Annapolis to drop off an appeal at the State Board of Elections, protesting what the company called "a discriminatory ruling."
"Restricting the civil rights of corporate persons is un-American, unconstitutional and anathema to the fundamental principles of our democracy," Murray Hill Inc. said in a statement.
The company's bid for Congress was inspired by a Supreme Court ruling holding that corporations have many of the same free-speech rights as individuals, which include the right to contribute money to political campaigns. (The ruling did not address whether corporations could donate directly to candidates.)
Murray Hill is arguing that its free-speech rights should also allow it to vote. "Voting is, among other things, a form of speech," the company said.
There was no immediate word on how long it will take election officials to rule on the appeal.
"Now we are just waiting to see what happens next," said William Klein, Murray Hill's campaign manager.
March 24, 2010; 4:13 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner
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