Legislature whiffs on city election date change

March 22, 2012

I believe our elected officials have possibly misunderstood the essential purpose of moving the Baltimore City mayoral primary and general election. The purpose is to increase voter turnout. Elected officials "having their cake and eating it too" by giving state officials a free shot at state office and vice versa discourages voter turnout.

Initially, proponents of moving Baltimore elections onto the presidential cycle justified their position by claiming turnout in presidential primaries in the city far exceeded turnout in gubernatorial primaries. That has been proven wrong.

Incumbents in one position seeking elected office in other positions discourage and limit newer, younger candidates. When qualified, deserving and energetic candidates are limited, the voter turnout is limited as well.

Citizens of Baltimore, we need you contacting your city senator and delegates to encourage them to do the right thing, not the selfish thing. A gubernatorial and mayoral election is better for the voters.

Marvin L. Cheatham Sr., Baltimore

The writer is president of the greater Baltimore chapter of the National Action Network.

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