- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2012

ANNAPOLIS | Residents seeking a referendum on Maryland’s new congressional map will have until the end of the month to collect the necessary signatures.

The state Board of Elections has given petitioners the official go-ahead to continue collecting voter signatures after determining that they met a May 31 signature deadline.

To send a law to referendum, petitioners must submit 55,736 valid voter signatures to the state by June 30. At least one-third of those, or 18,579, were due May 31.

State and local election boards had until Wednesday to review the petitions turned in last month and say that organizers submitted 26,763 valid signatures — about 8,000 more than was required.

Officials threw out 2,692 other signatures due largely to signing errors.

It remains to be seen whether petitioners will meet the June 30 deadline, but a petition seeking a public vote on Maryland’s same-sex marriage law has already met that goal.

State officials had until Monday to review the signatures turned in last month as part of that petition effort. They determined that 109,313 were valid — nearly twice the total that organizers would have needed by the end of June.

Organizers have continued to collect signatures and say they expect to turn in thousands more at the end of June.

• David Hill can be reached at dhill@washingtontimes.com.

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