Letters To The Editor


August 16, 2006

Find ways to make voting convenient

The League of Women Voters of Maryland adopted a position in favor of early voting in 2001 after a thorough study. We are disappointed that Maryland voters may now be unable to avail themselves of this expanded voting opportunity in the 2006 elections ("Vote plan rejected by court," Aug. 12).

Nationwide, more than 20 percent of voters cast their ballots early in 2004. Thirty-five states now offer early voting as an opportunity for voters to participate in the electoral process in times other than during the restricted election-day voting hours.

As Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth's ruling points out, many of the references to voting in our state constitution were written and adopted during the horse-and-buggy era.

Maryland's electoral processes should recognize present-day realities and encourage convenient participation.

As recently as 30 years ago an individual had access to his or her bank account only from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Today, we have access to our bank account 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Surely we can find a way to accommodate citizens who have long commutes or who work 12-hour shifts but who want to participate fully by voting in person.

But until the legal status of early voting is resolved, the league would like to remind voters that the General Assembly approved legislation in 2006 that allows for "no-excuse" absentee voting.

Thus, unlike in previous years when a voter had to affirm that he or she was eligible for an absentee ballot for one of seven reasons, Maryland law now allows any eligible voter to receive an absentee ballot, without providing any reason.

Lu Pierson


The writer is the president of the League of Women Voters of Maryland

Early voting opens the door to fraud

Kudos to Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Ronald A. Silkworth for his ruling that the early voting law passed by Maryland's liberal General Assembly violates the Maryland Constitution ("Vote plan reject by court," Aug. 12).

As the court found, the General Assembly truly exceeded its constitutional authority in enacting the early voting statutes for the upcoming election.

Such a law would greatly increase the possibilities for voter fraud.

Early voting should not be permitted in Maryland and Judge Silkworth was 100 percent correct in striking down this unfair new law.

Al Eisner


The writer is a volunteer for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s re-election campaign.

Judge didn't deserve panel's reprimand

After reading the article "Md. panel reprimands circuit judge in city" (Aug. 11), one can only conclude that someone is out to get Baltimore Circuit Judge John N. Prevas.

Let's take a look at the so-called offenses committed by Judge Prevas that were the subject of the reprimand by the state's Commission on Judicial Disabilities: Calling a defendant a "jerk"; taking a personal telephone call during a proceeding; entering a finding of "not guilty" for a defendant in a case in which he believed the prosecution could not prove its case.

Doesn't the commission have better things to do than waste its time investigating and holding hearings on such trivial matters?

Its condemnation of Judge Prevas is an outrage and an insult to a jurist who has served this community with great passion, intellect and wit.

Morton D. Marcus


Respect the verdict Conn. voters issued

In filing to run against Ned Lamont as an independent, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman only underscores his apparent loyalty to the Republican agenda ("Lieberman goes on the attack as independent run launches," Aug. 11).

Mr. Lieberman should accept that Connecticut Democrats want him replaced, and gracefully step aside to ensure that this Senate seat is not lost to Republicans.

Ruth Kastner


Republican leaders haven't kept us safe

As events unfold following the arrests of alleged terrorist plotters in Britain, it is more important than ever that American voters keep their heads cool and their thinking clear ("Pakistan arrest backs al-Qaida connection," Aug. 12).

Republicans have been in total control of our national executive and legislative branches for nearly six years -and are we safer now than we were on Sept. 11, 2001?

Clearly, we are not. Five years later, why are we still seeing allegations that al-Qaida is behind terror activities?

Instead of focusing on pursuing the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks, the president and his associates have our soldiers endlessly killing and dying in Iraq, although Saddam Hussein's regime had no connection to al-Qaida and the Sept. 11 attacks.

Meanwhile, al-Qaida is clearly still operating, and now has a presence in Iraq.

Caroline Foty


Raising wage floor can help the poor

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