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Posted at 2:29 PM ET, 09/29/2010

MoCo referendum gets green light

By Michael Laris

Maryland's highest court has reversed a lower court decision and ordered that a referendum on a Montgomery County ambulance fee be placed on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Thousands of signatures, and thus the referendum, had been rejected under an interpretation of state law that critics said brought about absurd results because it excluded people based on the way they signed their names. A Montgomery Circuit Court judge had ruled that elections officials acted properly and that the ambulance referendum not be put on the ballot.

But after oral arguments Wednesday, the Court of Appeals reversed that decision and sent the case back to the Montgomery court “with directions to enter judgment in favor of Appellants and an order that a referendum on the validity [of the ambulance fee legislation] be placed on the ballot at the General Election to be held on November 2, 2010.”

Opponents of the ambulance fee called it a stunning victory.

-- Michael Laris

By Michael Laris  | September 29, 2010; 2:29 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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Comments

Darn there the little people go again actualy speaking up against the elite. How dare they think that the government is supposed to work for them not the other way around.

Posted by: Pilot1 | September 29, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

This is great news not only for the citizens of Montgomery County who will now have a direct say on the question of whether not they want the new ambulance tax (that is what a fee REALLY is), but it is also a victory for all citizens of Maryland who support the right of citizens to have a direct say in their governance. Imagine a process where the government says you have a right to Petition, but just make sure that your signature is legible and that it exactly matches the voter registration, including the use of any initials and/or middle names. The Court of Appeals ruling means that the signatures need not be legible as long as the printed names are legible and match the voter rolls. That makes sense.

Posted by: MdLaw | September 29, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

A referendum on the speed cameras should be next.

Posted by: postisarag | September 29, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, score one for the little people. Now if this thing passes and the county faces a $14 million budget hole, cut the county council and executives staffs salaries and the school supers salaries and pr dept.

Posted by: VikingRider | September 29, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

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