From all indications, Harford County has enough registered voters to qualify for two additional early voting sites for next year's presidential election.
The state's threshold to qualify for the additional sites is 150,000 voters. That number was reached in the past week.
The county's top election official says the Harford Board of Elections plans to recommend to the state board that early voting sites be designated inAberdeen and Edgewood to go along with the existing site inBel Air.
We respectfully disagree with such reasoning.
Harford County is 440,000 square miles. To concentrate early voting sites in the Route 40 area essentially means the people who live in about 40 percent or so of the county's land area north of Route 23 will not have an early voting site within reasonable driving distance.
Conversely, those in the Route 40 area will end up with two sites within relatively easy commuting distance.
We understand the argument that more people live south of I-95 than in the northern end of the county, but there's also such a concept as reason at play here. If the philosophy behind early voting is to make it easier for people to cast their ballots, why not do it for the entire county, not just part?
Local Democrats worked hard to boost registrations in recent weeks under the belief that the two new early voting sites will be placed in areas where there are high concentrations of Democrats, such as Aberdeen and Edgewood.
As longtime supporters of the concept of early voting, we applaud the Democrats for their efforts.
We believe, however, that the selection of the new sites should be based on geography, not population density, political party affiliation, socio-economic status or some other demographic concept.
There's already a site in Bel Air, the center of the county, so let's put one in Aberdeen, roughly the center of the Route 40/I-95 corridor and put the other at one of the three schools at the North Harford campus in Pylesville, roughly in the center of the county's northern tier.
Having a site in the north, one in the center and the other in the south. What could be more logical? And, what could be more convenient for those who desire to vote early, regardless of where they live in Harford County.