Ignorance Is No Excuse When It Comes Time To Vote

THE WAY IT IS

Know Issues, Candidates When You Cast Ballot

March 01, 1992|By Jeff Griffith

"Did you know there's an election the day after tomorrow?"

"Huh?"

"Yeah. The primary. Tuesday. March 3. Day after tomorrow."

"Primary?"

"Primary. You know. To select nominees for president. Democrats. Republicans."

"Tuesday?"

"Listen. Tuesday. Primary. Buchanan vs. Bush. A passel of Democrats. League of Women Voter's Guide. Where have you been?"

"Who?"

"Pat Buchanan. Gave Bush fits in New Hampshire. Got over 40 percent of the vote.

"And the Democrats?Tsongas. Clinton. Kerrey. Harkin. Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown. What a crew.

"Moonbeam had the best button I've ever seen the last timehe ran for president. A brown button. Just a brown button. Get it?"

"Huh?"

"Please. Read my lips. Two days from today we get to pick the presidential nominee. You vote for both a candidate for president and for a delegate to the national convention. Watch yourself. Thelocal person you know might not be a delegate for the candidate you prefer. Read the ballot. You can send the president a message about the economy. Did you see the Nebraska results? Bush only got 60-couplepercent, and he was running unopposed."

"What if I'm a Democrat?"

"Then you can choose among a selection of men and women; you can vote for up to two women and three men. But be sure to read the ballot to see who each of your choices supports. You could vote for one person for president but send someone else's delegates."

"How you dogo on."

"We also have an interesting primary for the Republican nomination for the Senate. The guy who carried the county in the last election is back again -- what's his name, Keyes? As angry as people are at incumbents, he might actually have a shot against Mikulski in the general election next fall."

"Next fall? I can't think about this now. Leave me alone."

"We have an interesting primary for the House of Representatives, too. That Tom Hattery fellow is challengingBeverly Byron -- and the anti-incumbent thing could be at work thereas well. And the Republican side has three candidates."

"Anti-incumbent thing?"

"What's your problem? The powers that be moved the Maryland primary up to put us in a position to create a greater impact on national politics. On Super Tuesday we were a lost ball in high weeds. And the ballot has some local issues on it, too."

"Like what?"

"Like voting for a charter board."

"A what? Oh, please."

"You -- a person who doesn't even know an election is about to happen, who always complains loudest about county government, who never attends a public meeting unless someone is planning to build a sludge pit in your back yard -- you of all people should be interested in thecharter."

"Oh?"

"Oh! You want more efficient local government.You want local control. You want accountability. You could at least pay attention."

"Give me a break."

"Look, we're about to elect a president and a senator. We're going to decide the future shape of our county government. At least get off your butt and vote on Tuesday."

"I can't.

"I'm too busy. It's too early. And besides, I'm not registered."

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