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NEWS
October 27, 1999
QUESTION L on the Nov. 2 ballot in Baltimore is a misguided attempt to move municipal elections to presidential election years. Voters should reject it as a change that would give even less public attention to critical issues facing the city.When the current voting practice was introduced in 1898, officials believed electing the mayor, City Council and its president and comptroller independently would "separate municipal affairs from the influence of the political issues that are necessarily involved in state and federal elections."
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NEWS
April 4, 2012
One of the main reasons Baltimore MayorStephanie Rawlings-Blakeprovided for her effort to move the city's primary elections from their current off-year schedule to the presidential election cycle was the idea that it would help boost turnout. The idea, which has been floating around Baltimore and the General Assembly for years, gained significant traction this year in the wake of record-low turnout in the 2011 mayoral primary. Only about 22 percent of eligible voters cast ballots then.
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NEWS
By Ivan Penn and Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF | March 20, 2002
State lawmakers said yesterday that they would ensure that November's ballot includes a proposal to shrink the size of the Baltimore City Council - a response to the city's failure to agree on the timing of municipal elections. The response from lawmakers comes after Mayor Martin O'Malley asked legislators to withdraw bills that would have moved Baltimore's primary election from September 2003 to September 2004. "Next year when we're in session, when the City Council knows what size it's going to be, I think we will be able to look at the issue in the right perspective," said Del. Maggie L. McIntosh, a Baltimore Democrat and House majority leader.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | January 9, 2012
Baltimore officials plan to ask the General Assembly to pass legislation to align the city's municipal elections with the federal cycle, the city's chief lobbyist said Monday. The change would "save the City money and engage more citizens in our elections," according to a memo the lobbying team handed out to City Council members at a luncheon meeting Monday. City elections are now held a year after Maryland statewide elections. Baltimore residents elected a mayor and City Council members in 2011, and the next election is scheduled for 2015.
NEWS
May 22, 1995
Americans identify most closely with local government in large measure because that is democracy's purest form. One would be hard-pressed to prove this, however, based on the meager turnout in most of the municipal elections held recently in Carroll County.With the exception of the towns of Union Bridge and New Windsor, where nearly half the registered voters cast ballots, turnout in four other town elections averaged less than 25 percent. If local government is to be a meaningful expression of residents' collective will, more people must take part.
NEWS
October 6, 2003
BALTIMORE'S GOOFY election schedule continues to be held hostage to political gamesmanship and might become even more absurd. Four years ago, when Baltimore voters decreed that municipal balloting should coincide with presidential elections, it was supposed to be a simple matter of fixing the calendar. But legislators in Annapolis refused to do their part. The result: an impractical 14-month gap between last month's city primary election and the November 2004 general election. State legislators are now hatching a plot to further disrupt city operations.
NEWS
September 20, 2011
Having moved here from the West, where municipal elections are almost all nonpartisan, I urge the Baltimore City Council to consider eliminating party ballot designations. Instead, allow anyone, regardless of party affiliation, to file for whatever office they wish. Then let the two top vote-getters in the September primary face off against each other in the November general election. Continuing to have separate Republican primaries for a mere handful of voters is wasteful and meaningless in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 9-1. The public would be far better served by having the top two primary race winners debate the issues in November.
NEWS
By Mark Matthews and Mark Matthews,Washington Bureau | April 29, 1992
WASHINGTON -- Israel, faced with the virtual rejection of its municipal-election proposal for Palestinians in the occupied territories, yesterday dangled the remote possibility of "broader elections," which the Palestinians are demanding.But the suggestion was accompanied by difficult caveats. One was that any election scheme would reduce the PalestineLiberation Organization's influence in the occupied territories, the other that the broader elections would necessarily be the product of "a very complicated range of negotiations," as Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli spokesman and deputy foreign minister, described it.Israel on Monday proposed holding "pilot" municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza as a way of building democracy in the territories.
NEWS
By Ivan Penn and Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF | February 3, 2003
Baltimore's next municipal primary election would shift to March next year and coincide with the presidential contest under legislation introduced in both chambers of the General Assembly. But it appears the measure will not pass through the legislature without scrutiny from Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who wants the city elections held the same time as state races - the even years opposite presidential elections. Changing the date of Baltimore's primary has grown particularly urgent this year, lawmakers say, because the current structure creates the possibility of a lame-duck mayor presiding over city government for more than a year.
NEWS
By Martin C. Evans | December 15, 1990
Councilman Joseph T. "Jody" Landers, D-3rd, plans to announce his candidacy today for comptroller of Baltimore, a job held by Hyman A. Pressman since 1963.Along with the president of the City Council, the comptroller is one of two independent voices on the five-member, mayor-dominated Board of Estimates, which controls how the city's $1.3 billion operating budget is spent.Mr. Landers, 37, a former executive director of the HARBEL Community Organization Inc. and a licensed real estate agent, said he would use the comptroller's office to keep an eye on municipal spending and press for lower property taxes.
NEWS
November 10, 2011
The votes are in, and the results are clear: Baltimore's general election was a nearly complete waste of time, money and effort. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake got about 84 percent of the measly 45,000 votes that were cast. Among the City Council races, only one was close. In most of the rest, the winners of the Democratic primary ran up margins that would make dictators holding sham elections envious. One incumbent, Sharon Green Middleton, got 98 percent of the vote. This exercise cost city taxpayers about $1.5 million, or more than $33 per voter.
NEWS
September 20, 2011
Having moved here from the West, where municipal elections are almost all nonpartisan, I urge the Baltimore City Council to consider eliminating party ballot designations. Instead, allow anyone, regardless of party affiliation, to file for whatever office they wish. Then let the two top vote-getters in the September primary face off against each other in the November general election. Continuing to have separate Republican primaries for a mere handful of voters is wasteful and meaningless in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 9-1. The public would be far better served by having the top two primary race winners debate the issues in November.
NEWS
By Tracy Gosson and Richard J. Cross III | August 10, 2011
We're residents of Baltimore City who happen to be loyal members of two different political parties. We've both spent a lot of time participating in politics and public policy matters from different perches. Despite our different perspectives, we're concerned that the 2011 Baltimore City election cycle is not generating the excitement or attention it should. It certainly isn't for a lack of compelling or experienced candidates. This year's crop of mayoral choices include an incumbent seeking election in her own right, a former city official running on new ideas, a state senator and a City Council veteran.
NEWS
By Laura McCandlish and Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter | May 8, 2007
Pencil in hand, Dottie McGeehan checked one box for mayor and two of the four boxes listing City Council candidates in the Taneytown election yesterday. Then she emerged from the curtained stall at City Hall - the only polling place open for this election - folded her paper ballot and slipped it into a simple wooden box secured with a padlock. As controversy swirls around the state over computerized voting machines, early voting and other changes in election operations, most of Carroll County's eight municipalities have stuck with the tried-and-true paper ballots as they conduct their city and town elections this month.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF | April 10, 2005
When the residents of seven of Carroll County's eight towns go to the polls next month, they will find on their various ballots two incumbent mayors running unopposed and a third facing stiff competition for the job. A day before tomorrow's filing deadline, one town is short a council candidate and another has a plethora of prospective council members. "The Westminster mayoral race is really sizing up to be a big one, but we will probably have eight council candidates," said Ken Decker, Hampstead town manager.
NEWS
February 16, 2005
Hampstead will hold elections for three council positions from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 10 at Town Hall, 1034 S. Carroll St. Deadline to register to vote in the town election is April 11. Registration forms and absentee ballots are available from Town Hall. Anyone interested in running for Town Council should visit Town Hall for an application. Candidates must be at least 25 years old, have lived within town limits for the past year and be a registered voter. Proof of age, residency and citizenship is required.
NEWS
May 26, 1993
Carroll's municipal elections are over for this year, and they shared one trait -- disappointing voter turnouts.Only Union Bridge and New Windsor were able to attract more than 40 percent of their registered voters to cast ballots. Taneytown, Manchester and Hampstead had turnouts of only about 15 percent. Westminster barely reached 10 percent. Such pathetic participation in elections can undermine the authority and power of Carroll's municipalities because a minority of voters -- sometimes numbering less than 100 -- is selecting officials for the towns.
NEWS
By Gerard Shields and Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF | March 30, 1999
The power of the next Baltimore mayor would be significantly reduced under a City Council resolution calling for the Board of Estimates to be reduced to three elected members.Southeast Baltimore Councilman Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr. said yesterday that the five-member board should be shrunk by eliminating the city solicitor and public works director, mayoral appointees who are not elected by residents.By having only elected officials -- the mayor, council president and comptroller -- on the panel, D'Adamo said residents could hold the board, which approves municipal spending, more accountable.
NEWS
By Joel Greenberg and Joel Greenberg,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | December 24, 2004
EIZARIYA, West Bank - Standing in line to vote for the first time, Nihal Faroun flashed a broad smile. "It's a great feeling," she said. "For the first time we can choose someone we want for our town." Faroun, 21, a science teacher, was voting yesterday in municipal elections held in 26 Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank, a prelude to presidential elections set for Jan. 9. It was the first Palestinian local election in nearly 30 years, and the first in which the militant Islamic group Hamas competed at the polls against Fatah, the dominant political party.
NEWS
By Ivan Penn and Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF | March 20, 2004
Baltimore legislators killed a proposal yesterday that would have aligned the city's municipal elections with state races, leaving city voters to decide the future of their local elections through a referendum on the November ballot. The city's House delegation voted 9 to 8 to reject a bill sponsored by Del. Nathaniel T. Oaks, who had hoped to fix an embarrassing 14-month gap between the municipal primary and general elections. The legislation also would have saved the city at least $1 million in costs that result from holding its local election separate from the state election - the only major Maryland jurisdiction to do so. The change also would have restricted Mayor Martin O'Malley's political options.
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