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Board updates signature count on Md. immigrant tuition bill

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland State Board of Elections has validated more than 47,000 signatures in an effort to overturn legislation allowing certain illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition.

The board said in a letter on Wednesday to Delegate Neil Parrott, a Washington County Republican who is leading the petition drive, that 47,288 signatures were accepted, and 10,217 were rejected.

Opponents of the legislation need to file 8,448 more valid signatures by June 30 to put the bill on next year’s ballot for voters to decide in a referendum.

Opponents say they have already collected tens of thousands of signatures for the second phase.

Parrott and Delegate Patrick McDonough, R-Baltimore County, credit using the Internet, grassroots volunteers as well as telephone banks and direct mail for reaching voters in their petition campaign.