Online petitions prove to be plus and minus for Maryland’s GOP relevancy

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And even though none of the three petitioned issues was overturned Tuesday, Republicans said that does not mean the strategy is not working. Delegate Michael D. Smigiel Sr., Cecil Republican, said petitioners put too much of their efforts into getting the issues on the ballot and did not run strong campaigns to persuade voters.

“There was no coordinated effort after we went through the extraordinary steps of getting these on the ballot,” he said. “Next time, I think we just need to divide up the responsibility across the state. This is just part of the learning process.”

Mr. Smigiel also harshly criticized the governor for suggesting that the state raise its petition requirements.

“Citizens have the right to question their elected officials. If anything, we should make it easier,” he said.

Democratic House leaders did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday on the possibility of changing Maryland’s referendum requirements, but Ms. Ivey said her opinion will depend on how often Republicans try to put issues on the ballot.

“We’ll see if they continue to challenge every bill that gets passed that they lose on,” she said. “What, are we going to be like California and have a 50-page ballot? We elect representatives for a reason, and we’re just doing our jobs.”

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