Friday Five | October 30, 2020

Each Friday, the Maryland Chamber will bring you the top five news stories from the intersection of business and government. Here are this week’s top five stories.

 1. Election Official’s Advice: Bring Mail-in Ballots to Drop Boxes

With reports of slow mail delivery across the country, Maryland election officials are urging voters to return their mail-in ballots at drop-boxes throughout the state instead of using the Postal Service.

A total of 284 ballot drop-off boxes are scattered throughout the state for the upcoming election, including outside of every early voting center. Voters have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to use the drop-off boxes.

Find your ballot drop-off boxesearly voting centers, and day-of in-person voting centers here.

More on Maryland’s early voting turnout record here.

2. From Election Day to Inauguration Day, What to Expect

We are in the home stretch of an election that—like so much in 2020—has been and will continue to be unlike any before it. With an unprecedented tens of millions of Americans expected to vote by mail this year, and with many states prohibiting counting until Election Day, it may be days or even weeks before we know the outcomes.

That’s cause for preparation and patience—but not concern.

The U.S. Chamber has compiled a primer on what to expect between November 3rd and January 20th, for the full primer, click here.

3. Franchot Urges Maryland’s Patrons to Support Local Businesses as the Holiday Season Approaches

Comptroller Peter Franchot also is pushing for customers to support small businesses during the holiday season. Franchot teamed up with Maryland’s business and credit union leaders on Monday to urge the state’s residents to support local businesses and restaurants during the upcoming holiday season.

“In a normal year we probably would not be starting this early but this is not a normal year,” Franchot said at a virtual news conference in which he helped kick-off the state’s annual Shop Maryland for the Holidays campaign.

Franchot stressed that small businesses are the backbone of Maryland’s economy. “I think, frankly, if we shop local for the next two months and keep our money in our community businesses we’re going to be a much healthier state because they are healthy.”

More on this story here. 

4. First Day of Early Voting in Maryland Breaks Record: Enthusiasm, Determination Drives Voters to the Polls

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, data from the Maryland State Board of Elections showed 1.4 million votes have been cast, which is about 50.18% of the state’s total turnout in 2016.

The unofficial voter turnout of more than 161,000 was the highest in a single day of early voting in state history, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections. The previous high of 143,494 was set on the final day of early voting in 2016, Emily Opilo reports in the Sun.

For the full story, click here.

5. School Meals Programs in Md. Aren’t Reaching Enough Eligible Kids

According to a report that the group Maryland Hunger Solutions released Wednesday, some low-income children in Maryland who are eligible for free school breakfasts have not been receiving them. Only half of Maryland’s 24 school districts met the national goal, with Baltimore City and Calvert County performing the worst. The problem could be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with most schools in the state still shuttered, anti-hunger advocates maintain.

The report found that in the 2018-2019 school year, 62 low-income Maryland students ate school breakfast for every 100 who ate school lunch, which is lower than the national goal, set by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), of reaching 70 low-income children in the National School Breakfast Program for every 100 who get school lunch.

For the full report, click here.

Check out our Maryland Chamber Events Page for all of our Upcoming Webinars, Briefings, and Sponsored Events!

Upcoming calendar of legislative briefings and hearings

Friday, November 6, 2020

Elections are right around the corner, are you ready?

The U.S. Chamber released a new resource center for tracking state voting guidelines. See the latest resources on voting in your state at #VoteForJobs


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