Frederick County Council discusses the possibility of holding special elections for vacancies

I-270

One Frederick County, Md., council member is proposing a change on how the county handles filling vacancies and that is by holding special elections.

Currently, the county appoints a person to a vacancy with a vote from the County Council.

Council member Steve McKay, who represents District 2, said the special election would allow for more transparency and would occur during current election cycles, such as a Presidential election.

McKay said the idea behind the proposal was after a recent appointment to the Board of Education.

Without the legislation, if the county were to hold a special election, it could cost around $250,000 to $300,000. 

“”When we have a vacancy in one of these major elected offices, we should try to fill that vacancy by vote…by the voters,” said McKay during the County Council workshop Tuesday night.  “That is the premise behind this, that is the motivation.”

Baltimore, Cecil, and Frederick Counties are the only charter counties that do not allow special elections.

Under Maryland law, special elections are able to be held to fill vacancies for County Council and County Executive. There is currently no law that authorizes special elections for vacancies for the Board of Elections.

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