Voter Registration Easy

Readers write

July 28, 1991

From: Frank Lupashunski

Ellicott City

The column titled "County Comments" about voter registration deserves a response from the Howard County Board of Elections. It leads one to believe that voter registration is "a frustrating bureaucratic process" when in fact it can be done from the comfort of your home.

This office carries a paid advertisement monthly with the Howard County Sun letting people know that they can either send in the coupon to receive an application at their home or call the office 24 hours per day to request an application.

The whole process then can be accomplished by mail, providing the request is timely. The ad will alsoinclude the deadline when it gets closer to an election. (Presidential primary is March 3, 1992.)

Mail-in forms are also available at all public libraries, the county office building, the health department, the social services department and other state agencies, and incidentally in every DMV office.

The election office has for several years gone to every high school in the county to offer voter registration to eligible students.

We maintain a registration booth at thecounty fair, and occasionally at the Mall in Columbia. We also presently have over 300 trained volunteer registrars in the county.

TheHoward County Board of Elections is justifiably proud of the fact that we presently have the highest ratio of eligible voters vs. registered voters in Maryland.

If you are not presently registered and wish to be, there is never a need to wait in line at the DMV when you can let your fingers do the walking right in your own living room.

Call 313-2714 for 24-hour message service. Leave your name and address and an application will be sent to you.

Editor's Note: The writer is president of the Howard County Board of Supervisors of Elections.

ANOTHER VIEW OF HEARING

From: John W. Taylor

President

Howard Countians for Responsible Growth

It is tempting to dismiss County Councilman Charles Feaga's recent letter (Howard County Sun, July14, Readers Write, "Sorrow for Nixon's Ordeal") as just so much political grandstanding. But Mr. Feaga reaches a new low in

his letter, and he must be responded to.

The common thread throughout Mr. Feaga's letter is the idea that he is reasonable, but those who disagree with him are not. To him, evidently, those who do not share his views are zealots on a crusade. There are only two or three of them, he says, and they mislead and inflame, they cause near-riots, and he even seemed to imply that they might condone or even make telephone threats.

Unfortunately, Mr. Feaga can't seem to muster the courage to name names, or be specific when he makes these statements. Let's moveon, leave the innuendo and whispering rumors behind, and look at thefacts.

Myself and other members of HCFRG worked to inform the local public about the poorly, though legally, advertised June 5 public hearing of the Land Use Commission studying development alternatives for the west.

We produced and distributed a flier, possibly the one that Mr. Feaga refers to as "misleading and inflammatory" in his letter. Every statement in that flier was carefully reviewed and re-reviewed for accuracy and correctness.

HCFRG simply will not knowingly publish and distribute something that cannot be substantiated. If Mr. Feaga was referring to our flier, I invite him to publicly point out specifically where anything incorrect or untrue was included. The flier is available in the council files, and I will gladly supply a copy of it to any interested citizen who sends a stamped, self-addressed envelope to HCFRG, P. O. Box 205, Clarksville, Md. 21029.

If there was another flier Mr. Feaga was attacking, he owes it to everyoneto say which one, and what was wrong with it.

Next, Mr. Feaga characterizes the hearing as a "near-riot." He might like to have peoplethink that, as well as his implication that "zealots and their crusade" caused it, but the facts are different. As the 300-plus citizens who were there know, the hearing got occasionally rowdy, perhaps downright rude, as citizens were fed a particularly patronizing and insulting-to-their-intelligence presentation. But at no point did anythingapproaching a "near-riot" occur.

Particularly galling in Mr. Feaga's letter is his contention that our county will not develop as Fairfax or Montgomery because we have been learning from their mistakes. I had to read that twice, since it was written by the councilman who has consistently and steadfastly opposed any form of growth management, no matter how mild.

Up until the recession intervened, Howard County was setting yearly records for uncontrolled growth. And even today, with no growth management legislation in place, and a wildly growth-oriented General Plan, we are ill-prepared for any economic upturn that could involve the possible resumption of fast-paced growth.

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