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Survey: Md. Voters Not Satisfied With Access To State Information

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—When you need to know, where do you go? A survey of Maryland voters shows most are dissatisfied with the way the state does, or does not, make important information accessible.

Political reporter Pat Warren has some examples.

Do you know the deadline to apply for a gun permit before the new law takes effect? Or when it becomes illegal for you to use a hand-held cell phone while driving? When does Maryland repeal the death penalty? How about a new law requiring employers to accommodate pregnant employees? New wind resistance codes may not be of interest, but did you know you will be able to file a lien against your employer’s property for unpaid overtime?

The answer to all of the above, by the way, is Oct. 1.

“Just over two-thirds of Maryland registered voters are not satisfied with the information they currently receive from their government,” said Seamus Kraft, Opengov.

According to the organization Opengov, 78 percent of voters surveyed want advance notice of state policies that are going to affect them.

“There are tools and technologies available to us that can get us a lot better,” Kraft said.

More than half of older voters and 78 percent of younger voters say they’re on Facebook, 19 and 26 percent respectively, tweet.

“Those are two free, tested and highly used avenues for elected officials and government bureaucrats to share what they’re doing and deliver that right to know that citizens are clearly asking for,” Kraft said.

Opengov emailed its survey to state lawmakers in an effort to start a discussion about distributing information to voters.

It is possible some legislation could be introduced in the 2014 session. We will let you know if that happens.

The poll was informal and got 614 responses.

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