Chicago-style voteWe will find out soon enough whether...

the Forum

January 16, 1995

Chicago-style vote

We will find out soon enough whether there will be another election, but I think too many people are missing the point of Ellen Sauerbrey's suit.

Frankly, I am outraged that the Baltimore election board chief casually says, "I made an error" in failing to purge the list of some 3,000 people who were ineligible to vote.

I am outraged that even one dead person or one prisoner voted. It takes on immense dimensions if similar instances occurred in Prince George's and Montgomery counties as well.

Ever since I can remember, it has been drummed into me that one vote can make a difference. A person's vote is one of the most sacred of all rights and responsibilities.

To accept "mistakes" by those charged with ensuring proper procedures is to dismiss the entire idea that it is worthwhile to vote. And it invites Chicago-style party antics where, apparently, dead people vote in huge numbers.

Those who can't do the job at the election boards should be dismissed. They're not worthy of the public trust.

In this age of computers, isn't there a more foolproof way of conducting elections?

Gene Edwards

Eldersburg

Regarding Louis P. Boeri's recent letter (Jan. 9), the fact remains that those of us who voted for Ellen Sauerbrey -- a goodly half, and conceivably more, of Maryland's voters -- did (and still do) want her for our governor.

We would have been less than happy had she chosen to overlook the obvious instances of voter fraud, such as votes cast by dead people, prison inmates and unregistered voters -- to say nothing of voting machines left vulnerable to tampering, whether by criminal intent, ignorance or mere big-city slipshoddiness.

There are still those of us who consider our vote a sacred duty, trust and privilege. We do not care to have the outcome of our elections discounted as "just" a little bit fraudulent.

Mr. Boeri can speak for himself; I'll speak for those of us who still believe in an immaculate voting process.

lanche K. Coda

Baltimore

Domestic violence

I should not have been surprised that victims of domestic violence were not mentioned in the Jan. 8 article about violence in Baltimore City.

The concern over black-on-black violence would not have been diminished by including the number of women murdered as a result of domestic violence.

Our society is engrossed with the events of the Simpson-Goldman murders. Advocates for women had hoped that the tragic slaughter would awaken society to the issue.

If all discussions of homicide included the statistics of domestic violence victims, perhaps there would be more efforts to stop the violence.

When murder victims of domestic violence are not included in reviews of homicides, a message is sent to women. The message is that the principal cause of murder for women is not important enough to be discussed when reviewing issues of homicide.

How many of the black and white women killed in Baltimore City were murdered by current or former boyfriends or husbands?

How much more print space would have been needed to include a pie chart of that information?

That information would have contributed to the article's intent to inform readers of the dynamics of Baltimore City violence.

%Valerie Jennings Carpenter

Baltimore

City record on preservation is not encouraging

Edward Gunts' very interesting article on the Cloisters ("The Cloisters will be show house," Dec. 29) omitted a significant aspect of the history of this great house.

At about the same time the Cloisters was born, another great house in Baltimore County was dying. Built between 1833 and 1835, Glen Ellen was the first private residence in America to incorporate the Gothic revival style.

This style emphasized elaborate decoration and carving reminiscent of medieval designs. It initiated the move away from the rigidly formal style of Greek revival, which had dominated architecture for hundreds of years.

Eventually, Gothic revival evolved into many of the styles we now think of as typically Victorian, with towers, stained glass and gingerbread.

The Parkers rescued some of the furniture and decorative features of Glen Ellen, incorporating them into their new summer home and adding considerably to the grandeur and eclectic mix of styles evident at the Cloisters.

Among the items from Glen Ellen are about a dozen ornate windows, including the oriel windows near the parking lot, and an impressive door that now opens into the enclosed backyard.

If Glen Ellen were still standing today, it would be an extremely important building, a missing link between Colonial and Victorian architecture.

Instead it is a lost treasure and an embarrassing testimony to the shortsightedness of bureaucrats. As part of the Loch Raven Reservoir project -- and despite considerable legal efforts by its owner -- Glen Ellen became the property of the City of Baltimore in 1921.

Several ideas were offered for using the house and grounds, including making it a home for unwed mothers.

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