This story was updated at 10:55 a.m. Nov. 7.
The door for Montgomery County to establish a hiring authority for disabled job candidates opened Wednesday when voters overwhelmingly supported ballot Question A, according to unofficial election results.
Question A asked voters if they wanted to amend the county charter and give the county the ability to recruit and hire qualified individuals with severe physical and mental disabilities on a noncompetitive basis.
As of 2 a.m., with all precincts reporting, voters supported expanding hiring for the disabled 299,791 to 73,143. Those who voted yes made up 80.39 percent of tallied ballots.
The unofficial results released on election night contain only those votes cast on voting machines during early voting and in the polling place on Election Day. Absentee ballots will be counted by the Montgomery County Board of Elections starting Thursday.
County Councilman Philip M. Andrews proposed the referendum and said he was happy to see it so well supported by voters.
“I’m very pleased with the overwhelming support of the voters for the county’s effort to expand opportunities for hiring qualified people with disabilities,” Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg said. “I’m delighted and looking forward to working with my colleagues and the County Executive to implement this program which will help Montgomery County do everything it can, as a government, to a be a model employer for people with disabilities.”
Andrews said he has legislation establishing a hiring program ready for introduction on Nov. 13 to implement was appeared to be the voters’ will.
Also passing Wednesday was a referendum repealing the prohibition on wine and beer licenses for hotels or restaurants in Damascus, the county’s last dry town.
With all precincts in election district 12 reporting, 6,678 of 10,015 ballots, or 66.68 percent, were cast in favor of alcohol in Damascus.