Letters To The Editor


August 31, 2006

Early voting lacks a clear rationale

I would like to make a couple of comments about The Sun's editorial concerning early voting ("Early intervention," editorial, Aug. 28).

First, I am at a loss as to why requiring voter identification is "discriminatory." I am familiar with a couple of the 35 states The Sun regularly references that allow early voting, and I know that they require voters to present ID.

Second, I wonder why early voting is even necessary. I find it hard to believe there are large numbers of voters who really can't get to the polls between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Election Day.

And even if they do have such trouble, they have the absentee-ballot option.

Third, as a long-time poll judge, my experience is that most voters show either a voters card or driver's license without prompting.

Fourth, no early law is going to pass constitutional muster without a constitutional amendment.

Bill Wilson


It's the Democrats who played politics

The Sun's editorial "Early intervention" (Aug. 28) accused Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. of "numerous acts of partisanship" in challenging the actions of the General Assembly, which passed the early voting law.

I think the editors are slightly confused.

Was it not the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature that passed the questionable law, even though for decades, with Democrats in control of the governor's seat, the Democratic legislature had shown no rush to pass such legislation?

Based on the decision of the Court of Appeals, a nonpartisan body, it seems that the governor was correct in objecting to the law, and the Democratic majority was wrong, as well as very partisan.

If the Democrats want early voting, there is a valid procedure - it's called amending the constitution.

Chuck Marks

Perry Hall

Photo ID needed to stop vote fraud

I don't agree that the opposition to early voting in Maryland is predominantly political ("Early intervention," editorial, Aug. 28).

And dismissing the very real constitutional issues as "narrow" is rather narrow itself.

The principal objection to early voting here in Maryland is that it may increase the likelihood of fraudulent voting.

Currently, each election official controls a book containing the names and addresses of registered voters in a certain alphabetical range.

When the voter appears and is identified, his or her name is crossed out so that any fraudulent voter who later appears using the same name will be discovered.

However, this method does not prevent fraudulent voters from using the names and addresses of registered voters who haven't voted, and voting in their names.

As long as the voter is not required to produce a government-issued photo ID, fraudulent voting will go undetected and the deceased will still cast ballots in Maryland.

Dick Tatlow


Falling gas price reeks of politics

While it's certainly welcome news for all Americans that gas prices have dropped in recent weeks, in some cases by more than 30 cents per gallon, I find it very difficult to believe that the reason for the drop is anything other than political ("Gas price snapshot," Aug. 29).

The price of oil has remained fairly stable throughout the month of August, with prices remaining consistently above $70 per barrel. World politics are as volatile as ever.

These rapid declines in oil prices are as suspicious as the rapid increases we have seen this summer.

I fully expect prices at the pump to drop well below $2.70 before Election Day.

I am far from a conspiracy theorist, but this drop in prices has the same stench that the rise in prices had.

Dave Kelly

Glen Burnie

Had we forgotten hurricane's horrors?

It's a pathetic reflection of our self-absorbed society when it takes a one-year anniversary of a catastrophic debacle to remind Americans of the lingering devastation of Hurricane Katrina ("Lessons from the deluge," editorial, Aug. 29).

How quickly we are conditioned to conveniently forget those tragic occurrences that don't directly affect our everyday routines.

Patrick R. Lynch


Embrace the effort to nourish city trees

The Sun's article about the lack of rain in our region called attention to the effects of the rain shortage on our crops and the health of our streams ("Summer's rainy start dried out fast," Aug. 22).

But, as the accompanying photo of Federal Hill indicated, the city shares the brunt of the scorching summer heat. And the many newly planted young trees in this city also need water to survive until fall.

Residents and business owners can help the new trees thrive by providing them with approximately 10 gallons of water twice a week and keeping them clear of weeds and debris.

Baltimore recently adopted an aggressive goal of increasing the tree canopy in our city by 20 percent to 40 percent over the next 30 years.

I embrace this aggressive plan, as urban trees are critical to combat pollution.

And planting trees, and taking care of those we already have, is one way individuals can improve the environmental health of our city.

Kari Smith


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