Voting problems in Baltimore CityAs an election judge in...


March 14, 1996

Voting problems in Baltimore City

As an election judge in the primary, I was obliged to vote absentee. The ballot I received in the mail had instructions to return it as soon as possible, which I did.

Almost immediately, my candidate, Sen. Phil Gramm, dropped out of the race. Since I wanted my vote to count for something, and because I take my right to vote very seriously, I requested that my ballot be retrieved and replaced with a valid one.

Barbara Jackson, city elections administrator, agreed to do this with written permission from the Maryland attorney general's office. Plausible but not genuine reasons were given by that office for an unfriendly refusal of that request.

In the course of the day at the precinct polling place, three opportunities presented themselves for voting in the name of the deceased, two of which had been reported to the Election Board more than once over the past six years. (I did not do it).

My husband said that at my regular voting precinct, my name in the book was not tagged with the information that I had voted absentee. Therefore, I could have voted four times in addition to the original invalid absentee ballot.

Ellen Sauerbrey's 6,000 vote deficit in '94 could have been overcome by three more votes in each precinct, if honestly counted.

This is the ultimate statement in favor of the importance of each vote, and how imperative it is that the process be in responsible hands.

Elizabeth Ward Nottrodt


Pedigreed pooches also leave piles

I happened to be watching the news during the weekend of Feb. 17 when I noticed there was a dog show being held at the Fifth Regiment Armory. The event, captured on video, displayed the regality, grandeur and excitement associated with the puffed-up pooches of each pedigree. I was amazed at all the primping, brushing, care and attention directed toward these animals. I immediately thought these owners are really dedicated and must invest enormous amounts of time in travel and preparation.

I didn't think about the event again until Monday morning during my daily walk from Penn Station to my office on Preston Street. It was then that I experienced first hand, or should I say first foot, the other dimensions of this story. Starting at the Meyerhoff and on at least the two primary walkways surrounding the Armory was the glorious residue of all this primping and posing great gobs of puppy poop!

It appears the owners' pedigrees don't equal that of their dogs. Perhaps the next coverage of such an event will capture the owners, in all their splendor, peering over the great piles of poop, blue ribbon in hand, side-stepping a path to their BMWs or, as I hope the case may be, with their pooper-scooper and an ample supply of biodegradable plastic bags.

I certainly don't wish to rain on anyone's parade, but there is a major disparity here. Without more consideration and thoughtfulness on the part of these owners, this city and on a larger scale, our planet, will end up looking and smelling like one of the many discarded piles I encountered.

James P. McBreen


Clinton operates according to polls

Americans, particularly Hispanics, are outraged over the Cuban Air Force's shooting down of two Cessna aircraft off the coast of Cuba.

President Clinton has reacted by asking for a menu of sanctions against the Castro-led Cubans. Among these measures, he has asked Congress to speed up action on a bill strengthening the embargo and outlawed charter flights to and from the island.

Isn't this the same president who authorized the charter flights to and from Cuba, partial relaxation of the embargo and money transfers from U.S. residents to relatives in Cuba? Didn't he also work out nuclear reactor-deals with North Korea and normalization of relations with Vietnam?

Of course, we have to forgive him. After all, polls show he'll need the heavily Hispanic states of Florida and California to get re-elected in November, which seems to be the White House's main focus. He's never seen a poll he didn't make his gospel du jour.

Chuck Frainie


Regions of state should cooperate

J. Frank Raley Jr. of Charlotte Hall, (letter, Feb. 15) asks if Maryland can initiate a policy with the support of all regions of the state to support regional opportunities and initiatives.

So what he is saying is the entire state should support a project in Southern Maryland concerning the Navy supplying jobs and paychecks.

While he is asking for our support, his representatives from Southern Maryland are in Annapolis opposing the stadium construction in Baltimore and Prince George's County, both of which would supply jobs and paychecks and would be economic boons to those regions as well as the rest of the state.

I agree with Mr. Raley that cooperation of all regions is critical to the well-being of our state. But to get support for Southern Maryland, Southern Maryland must cooperate with Baltimore and Prince George's County. Cooperation is a two way street.

Charles J. Johnson


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