Categories
Government State

COVID-19 Exposure Notifications are now available in Maryland on iOS and Android devices

COVID-19 Exposure Notifications are now available for Maryland. The notification system is an API developed by Apple and Google in conjunction with health departments to help alert individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. For privacy reasons, these alerts are turned off by default but you can turn them on if you’d like to be notified.

On iOS, go to Settings -> Exposure Notifications

On Android, go to Settings -> Google -> COVID-19 Exposure Notifications

Categories
Elections Montgomery County State

2020 General Election Voting FAQ’s

Have questions about voting in Montgomery County in 2020? Here’s a guide with some of the frequently asked questions I’ve been getting. If you have a question that isn’t below, feel free to reach out to me!

I didn’t receive my mail-in ballot. What should I do?

Call the Montgomery County Board of Elections at (240) 777-VOTE (8683) as soon as possible. They can sort it out and let you know how to proceed.

I requested a mail-in ballot but want to vote in person. Can I?

Yes! But! You will need to fill out a provisional ballot (to make sure you didn’t also send in your mail-in ballot).

My mail-in ballot arrived but the envelope and/or ballot was damaged or destroyed. What can I do?

Call the Montgomery County Board of Elections at (240) 777-VOTE (8683) as soon as possible.

My mail-in ballot still shows are “received” when I check the status of my ballot. When will it move to “accepted”?

The Montgomery County Board of Elections has confirmed that mail-in ballots won’t move to “accepted” until at least Election Day. They do not start counting ballots until then. Be patient, it could take several days after the election to count them all.

Don’t see your question? Ask below!

If you feel that this helped you in any way, consider buying MoCo Local a coffee or beer. You can do so through Venmo (@Vito-Anastasia).

Categories
Elections Government Montgomery County State

First Day Early Voter Turnout Surpasses 2016

Marylanders turned out on the first day of in person Early Voting. Over 128,000 stood in line to vote as of 5:30pm.

Mail-in ballots are also being returned at record rates. So far in Montgomery County, 219,852 ballots have been returned. In Maryland, 947,941 total ballots have been returned.

Update

Early voter turnout in Montgomery County also broke 2016 records. A total of 24,359 votes were cast in person on the first day of Early Voting. This is about 3,000 more votes than the first day of Early Voting in the 2016 General Election.

Categories
State

Bills to Repeal the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights Drafted in Both MD House and MD Senate

Last week, State Senator Jill P. Carter of Baltimore announced that she had drafted the bill to repeal the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights in the Maryland Senate.

One of Montgomery County’s Delegates, Delegate Gabriel Acevero, has submitted the draft request for the House.

Maryland was the first state to enact a Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights and has one of the strongest bills that protects cops, on par with states like Mississippi. Repealing LEOBR would end several protections that prevent law enforcement from being held accountable for their actions and would allow disciplinary records to be made public, which currently is not the case.

Categories
Government State

Governor Hogan Extends Eviction Moratorium Until January 4th

Governor Larry Hogan today extended the eviction moratorium until at least January 4th through Executive Order.

The Executive Order is below.

Categories
State

Governor Hogan Votes for Reagan

The Washington Post reported today that Governor Larry Hogan wrote in Ronald Reagan instead of voting for anyone alive…or actually a candidate.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he “voted for Ronald Reagan” in this year’s election, writing in the name of the late president and conservative icon after concluding that he could support neither President Trump nor Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Turned off by Trump, Maryland’s GOP governor casts write-in vote for Ronald Reagan

Several local and state politicians were critical of the move, as well as residents. State Delegate Vaughn Stewart rightly called out Ronald Reagan’s history as destructive:

Delegate Vaughn Stewart on Twitter

Delegate Eric Luedtke likened Hogan’s performative ballot write-in to a vote for Trump:

Delegate Eric Luedtke on Twitter

The Post’s report also noted that Hogan considers Ronald Reagan a political hero:

Hogan, 64, called Reagan “my hero in politics” alongside his late father, Larry Hogan Sr., whom he wrote in for president in 2016 after deciding that he could not support Trump or then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Turned off by Trump, Maryland’s GOP governor casts write-in vote for Ronald Reagan

Let’s take a look at some of the things that Reagan stood for:

  • Tax cuts for the rich
  • Cutting social safety nets
  • Increasing military spending
  • Deregulation of markets
  • The murder of hundreds of thousands of gay men in the United States, millions throughout the world, during the AIDS epidemic
  • Expanding the war on drugs which started the mass incarceration of Black Americans
  • The invasion of several Latin American countries under the banner of “anti-communism” (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala)

If Reagan is Hogan’s political hero then you’d think he would also really love Donald Trump who has basically the same policies as Reagan.

Categories
State

51 House Delegates ask Hogan for Rent and Mortgage Relief

51 House Democrats have asked Governor Larry Hogan to provide rent and mortgage relief to Marylanders that have been effected by COVID-19. Read the letter below:

Categories
State

Governor Hogan Orders Stay at Home

On March 30th, 2020 Governor Larry Hogan announced a new “Stay at Home” order. This is not a shelter in place. Below are some the guidelines.

General Guidelines

  • Effective at 8PM on 3/30, everyone must stay in their homes except for essential activities, travel to work, performing services related to work
  • Businesses can remain open if they are considered an essential service
  • Businesses can deliver goods still
  • Businesses that are non-essential can remain open for minimal operations (more info below)
  • Fitness centers, theaters, golf courses, senior centers, and other recreational establishments must remain closed
  • Tattoo parlors, barber shops, salons, etc should be closed
  • If you are a victim of domestic violence or your living situation is unsafe you are allowed to seek a safe space
  • If you are experiencing homelessness you are allowed to seek a safe space
  • If you violate this order you can be charged with a misdemeanor and/or receive a $5,000 fine

What is considered essential?

  • Obtaining supplies (food, medicine, other groceries) for you, your family, and pets
  • Going outside for activity (walking, walking pets, jogging, riding bikes, hiking)
  • Caring for a family member, friend, pet in another household or location (this includes providing transport to an essential service like medical care)
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order
  • Travel to a federal, State, or local government building for a necessary purpose

Non-Essential Business Guidance

  • You must close to the general public
  • Staff and owners can work but only on minimal operations
  • Minimal operations include: facilitating remote work, maintaining property, preventing loss or damage to property (including ensuring perishables do not spoil)
  • Caring for live animals
  • FOR RETAIL: you can continue to sell products on a delivery basis

Restaurant and Bar Guidance

  • Restaurants and bars will remain closed to the general public except for pickup, carryout, drive-through, delivery
  • Must follow social-distancing recommendations
Categories
Federal Government State

Federal Social Distance Guidelines Extended Through April

Social distancing guidelines have been extended through the end of April, according to Pres. Trump. However, Maryland is following guidelines that lean more towards shelter in place. Governor Hogan has been reluctant to call the actions he and his administration have taken shelter-in-place.

How will this impact MoCo? Most existing Maryland guidelines from the governor have also extended to the end of April so this won’t change what we are doing.

Governor Hogan stated state officials expect an increase of cases in Maryland in 2-3 weeks. Models for Maryland suggest similar results using the restrictions and closures that Hogan implemented.

Categories
County Council Government State Yesterday's News

Yesterday’s News, Today – 3/17/2020

The past few days have been a jumble. I’m not sure what time it is and I keep checking the calendar to make sure I have the right day. It’s stressful, but I’ve seen the community come together and that gives me hope.

There was a lot of news to digest yesterday so here is a condensed version. New updates will be posted on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram.

How to help MoCo during the state of emergency

We are all in a tough spot, but none are getting hit as hard as small businesses and folks that work in the service industry. We’ve put together some ways that you can help them.

News Roundup

Coronavirus

County

State

State of Emergency

Governor Hogan issued new orders for the State of Emergency:

  • ordered bars, restaurants, gyms, and theaters to close as of 5PM on 3/16. Restaurants can still offer drive-thru, carryout, pickup, and delivery.
  • prohibits gatherings of more than 50 people but the CDC now recommends that gatherings be kept to fewer than 10 people
  • the Maryland Department of Health is working on adding an additional 6,000 beds
  • the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps have been activated
  • health practitioners with licenses in other states are now allowed to practice in Maryland
  • utilities are prohibited from being shut off and providers cannot charge late fees: this includes gas, electric, water, sewer, phone, cable, and internet
  • evictions are halted during the state of emergency
  • schools can now provide three meals and a snack to each student per day
  • the National Guard has been moved to a higher state of readiness

During the State of Emergency you can request a 30-day refill on your prescriptions. Health insurers are required to cover them and have to waive restrictions on time-limits.

Maryland Business Express released a list of resources for business

A special enrollment period has been opened for the Maryland Health Connection so if you need health insurance, sign up now

Business

I don’t have words to describe this chart showing how dramatic the change in U.S. restaurant customers is.

U.S. Restaurant Diners Disappear With Virus’s Social Distancing

The data doesn’t look better when you add some color to it.

Reminders

It’s important to take time for ourselves so we can reset. Delegate Eric Luedtke shared his experience with anxiety disorder and it was a reminder, to me, to take a few deep breaths.