Md. seeks to block voter referendums

April 08, 2010

The right to referendum in Maryland does not exist.

From the highest court in Maryland to the circuit court; from the governor to the state legislature to the attorney general; from the Maryland State Board of Elections to the Howard County Board of Elections to the Howard County Council — all have put up roadblocks to deny the citizens of Maryland the right to use the referendum process in a responsible way.

A requirement that a signature on a petition needs to match the signature one uses when registering to vote is undemocratic. Even when one votes, the signatures do not always match the log used by election judges because signatures change over time.

It is understandable that government officials at any level do not want challenges to their decisions. It has been possible for a successful referendum process to occur in Anne Arundel County regarding slots because moneyed interests paid thousand of dollars for people to procure signatures. And, even in that case, over 50 percent were invalidated because of the burdensome technical requirements that no government entity wants to correct.

I call on the governor to right this madness and return the citizens' right to referendum in Maryland.

Angela Beltram, Ellicott City

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