Apathy, not race, central to Bernstein win

September 30, 2010

As a volunteer in the Gregg Bernstein campaign, it saddens me racial demographics are being so minutely analyzed ("Bernstein crossed racial lines to win," Sept. 30). I happen to be white, but that's not why I volunteered for Mr. Bernstein. His skin color was no concern to me, it was his position on crime in Baltimore.

I spent most of the day handing out his literature near my polling place in a predominantly white neighborhood (Little Italy), and I was appalled by the low turnout. That was the real reason for the Bernstein victory, and for that matter, Sen. George Della's defeat. I live in a large apartment building and could count on the fingers of one hand the people I recognized who showed up on primary day.

Only 21.5 percent of eligible voters turned out, and the results show what happens when an incumbent takes his or her office for granted. The low voter turnout was statewide, and we should be ashamed.

Although our mailboxes bulged with campaign literature, it all seemed to end in the trash. It troubles me so few take interest in our political system, and when I queried a few neighbors who didn't vote, they smugly responded, "I don't get involved with politics."

I believe voter apathy played as important a role in the Gregg Bernstein/Patricia Jessamy primary outcome as did race.

Rosalind Ellis, Baltimore

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