And the Winner Is. . .

November 07, 1994

We will know the answer tomorrow night, after the polls close. Glendening or Sauerbrey? Sarbanes or Brock? Bennett or Curran? Goldstein or Mayberry? These are the statewide offices that 1.4 million Marylanders will decide tomorrow.

Will you be among those who chose? Or will you be among the stay-at-home, I-can't-be-bothered non-voters who love to complain about what's happening in our nation and state but refuse to do anything about it.

Election officials are predicting a 55 percent turnout. That's a tad higher than normal, but lower than the 1990 off-year election in which all the statewide races were bland and predictable Democratic romps. (And far, far lower than the turnout in the 1992 presidential year -- 81 percent).

This year voters have some slam-bang races that should draw more of them to polling places, including the $7 million Sauerbrey-Glendening race for governor in which the two candidates have pulled out all the stops to paint each other as dangerous extremists. Voters get to make a real choice between two polar opposites in that election.

And look at the county executive clashes: Gary or Sophocleus? Hayden or Ruppersberger? Ecker or Gray? Rehrmann or Szczybor? There's more than a dime's worth of difference between them, that's for sure.

It's ironic that so few citizens are expected to get to the polls tomorrow, since the elections will have a direct bearing on the lives of all Marylanders. Determining your county commissioner or council member will be far more important in many ways than electing a president. After all, how often does a president's decision impact your daily life? But a council member or a county executive takes action every day that affects your neighborhood school, playground, roads, sewer lines, how high the taxes you pay on your home, whether you'll soon be surrounded by shopping malls and wall-to-wall townhouses, the services offered by your local library, senior center and rec center.

Want that pothole fixed in the street outside your home? Don't call a federal bureaucrat, call your local council member. Want more money spent on your kid's school programs? Don't call the president, call your county executive. Angry about the state's welfare or crime programs? Don't call Washington, call your delegate or senator in Annapolis.

Tomorrow you get to voice your opinion forcefully and positively. Send "them" a message -- good or bad. Participate in your community's affairs. These are important matters that will impact your home and surroundings. Complaining isn't good enough, unless you exercise your right to vote.

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