Annapolis council candidate wants Green Party affiliation on ballot

September 25, 2001|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

Isaac Opalinsky collected more than twice the number of signatures required to run for the Annapolis city council. He began holding campaign receptions, collecting money, turning in finance reports.

Now the man who would be the first Green Party candidate to run in a local Maryland election has been told he won't be Green on the ballot after all.

City election officials have told Opalinsky that a reading of city law shows that his party affiliation must be kept off the ballot. Instead, he would be listed under the heading "other candidates."

Opalinsky, who had hoped his race in the city's 1st Ward would boost his party's profile in the state, is lobbying for changes in a law that he describes as unfair.

"The law freezes the political status quo," Opalinsky, 24, said in an interview yesterday.

The head of the city elections board agrees that the law should be changed.

"It isn't apparent to me how a third party would ever get on the ballot," said elections board Chairman Richard E. Israel.

Under city code, for a political party to be recognized on the ballot it must have received at least 3 percent of the vote in the previous municipal election.

Opalinsky complains that even if he receives more than 3 percent of the vote while running under the "other candidates" heading, the party would not be recognized on the ballot in the next election, under the law.

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