Letters To The Editor


May 11, 2006

Democrats threaten security of our vote

In its fittingly titled editorial on election law changes ("Early and often" editorial, May 5), The Sun directs its fire at the wrong target: Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. rather than the Democratic members of the General Assembly.

Their legislation allowing unlimited absentee ballots and multi-day elections has undone the impact of three great voting safeguards: voting machines, the secret ballot and single-day elections.

The new unlimited absentee voting invites prolonged recounts like those in Washington's recent governor's race, "found ballots" and, indeed, purchased ballots.

As the generally liberal members of the Constitution Project at Georgetown University observed in 2001: "Election Day voting at polling places provides the best opportunity to achieve every one of five fundamental objectives: 1) Assure the privacy of the secret ballot and protection against coerced voting; 2) verify that ballots are cast only by duly registered voters; 3) safeguard ballots against loss or alteration; 4) assure their prompt counting; and 5) foster the communal aspect of citizens voting together on the same day after having had the opportunity to hear the full common pool of public information the campaigns can provide."

Thoughtful voters will want to exercise what is left of their franchise to rid the legislature of those who have undermined these objectives.

George W. Liebmann


Governor betrays state's consumers

It is very disappointing that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has failed to demonstrate any leadership to blunt the impact of the huge increases we will soon face in our electricity bills ("Customers begin to feel BGE pinch," May 9). His "pay me now, pay me later" approach does nothing to benefit many of those who voted for him.

The average Marylander is struggling with rising gas prices, rising health care costs and now faces these huge electricity rate increases.

How are seniors living on fixed incomes going to absorb all this expense? How are working-class people going to pay for these rapid cost increases?

It feels as if big corporate America is running the show and has many of the politicians as co-conspirators in its back pockets. It almost reminds me of the period of the robber barons of the early 1900s.

Why are we allowing Constellation Energy to merge with Florida's FPL Group? Why doesn't Mr. Ehrlich use the merger deal to leverage a better deal for the people?

Why will people like Constellation Energy CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III end up with millions after this merger goes through while the rest of us pay through the nose?

The General Assembly should reconvene a special session and work out a fair deal.

It should do what Mr. Ehrlich has failed to do - lead and make a better deal for the taxpayers who pay their salaries and the bills of this state.

Tom Quirk


Move to diversify our energy supply

Why isn't America pushing policies that will move us toward energy self-sufficiency ("More feel effect of gas increases," May 7)?

Yes, we have the rhetoric of the current administration about how we are addicted to oil. This is the same message we have heard for three decades. But why are we not producing ethanol on the scale that Brazil is, or producing some other substitute for oil?

America put a man on the moon in the year of my birth, 37 years ago. But we cannot efficiently run a car on anything other than gas?

You could argue about the high cost of alternative forms of energy. But I would gladly pay that cost to save the lives of the young Americans who are dying for the profits of the oilmen.

Jeff Ashton


Idling at red lights wastes gallons of gas

Now that gas prices are so high and such a great volume of gas is wasted by vehicles sitting at red lights, isn't about time we reconsider a system of "proceed on red after stop"? ("Little help seen in cutting gas cost," May 4)

No one has shown me a logical argument for why it is more dangerous to proceed through a red light after stopping for through traffic than it is to proceed through a stop sign after stopping for through traffic.

George B. Wroe


Can't ignore crimes of illegal migration

Steve Chapman's point is well-taken - many of the immigrants who are protesting want nothing more than to be legalized, just like every other immigrant ("Outrage over immigrant protests doesn't add up," Opinion * Commentary, May 8).

But the problem is: They are illegal. They cannot be allowed to demand to have their status legalized and their criminal acts ignored. There is a legal process to enter this country and enjoy the benefits of being a citizen. They chose to come here another way.

All the illegal immigrants need to be rounded up and sent back to the country they came from.

They then can begin the process of legally entering this country.

As for the businesses that would cry over the lack of cheap labor, tell them to look to the welfare rolls.

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