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Early returns show promise for constitutional convention, other Md. ballot questions

If early election returns hold, Maryland will engage in a full-scale review of the state’s constitution for the first time since 1967.

Initial results posted by the Maryland State Board of Elections show 54 percent of voters approving a statewide ballot question calling for a constitutional convention.

Early returns also point toward an increase in the threshold for civil jury trials in circuit court, from $10,000 at present to $15,000.  Voters are backing the increase, an amendment to the state constitution, by more than a two-to-one margin in early returns.

In addition, early returns point to an overwhelming victory for a constitutional amendment requiring Baltimore’s Orphans’ Court  judges to be members of the Maryland bar. The amendment, which would make Baltimore the only jurisdiction where the estate and probate judges must be lawyers, has the support of 83 percent of the state’s voters with 16 percent of the precincts reporting.