March 14, 2013
On Monday night, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the O'Malley administration's proposal to make it easier to cast a ballot in Maryland despite lingering criticism from some in the GOP that somehow early voting and same-day voter registration will lead to an outbreak of voter fraud. That is about as likely as Rep. Paul Ryan endorsing Amtrak, food stamps and an expansion of Obamacare in his next budget proposal. A far better criticism of the measure is that it doesn't go far enough, or perhaps that it imposes an expensive obligation on local government without providing for a funding source.
January 22, 2013
Expanding the opportunity for qualified residents to vote in an election is seldom, if ever, a bad thing, so Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to expand early voting and seek same-day registration in Maryland is a welcome development. Too bad that Republicans in Annapolis are already lining up against the measures on purely partisan grounds. One of the more notable features of the 2012 General Election was the high early-voter turnout in Maryland. Some people waited for hours, particularly in Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties, to cast a ballot before Election Day. Altogether, more than 430,000 Marylanders took advantage of early voting (about 16 percent of the total votes cast)
November 18, 2012
A week after the election, Mitt Romney, on a conference call with his National Finance Committee, recently blamed his loss on "gifts" President Obama promised to Blacks, Hispanics and young voters ("Obama's 'gifts' to voters fueled his victory, Romney says," Nov. 15). He went on to state that the president followed "the old playbook" of wooing special interests with targeted gifts and initiatives. When I read this in the New York Times, I was bewildered by the nonsensical nature of the comment.
November 8, 2012
Voter turnout in Maryland in 2012's general election dropped by more than 8 percentage points from 2008 but President Obama's vote percentage slipped much less than in other states, according to the State Board of Elections. Unofficial figures show a turnout of 69.04 percent compared with the spectacular 77.63 percent registered in Obama's first election. But voting appeared to be off roughly equally among both Democrats and Republicans. Obama's support dropped a half point from 2008 -- 61.4 percent compared with the 61.9 percent he garnered against John McCain.
November 1, 2012
Next week's election might be short on candidates and contests - besides the county school board, no county or state elected officials are up for election this year - but it doesn't lack for drama and hotly debated issues. On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Howard County voters will get to vote on some remarkably tight contests. Locally, voters will decide the aforementioned school board race, in which six candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for three open slots on a board that will have to work with a new superintendent to maintain the school system's quality reputation.
September 29, 2012
Five weeks before the election, a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland has seen a surge of support and is now favored by likely voters, 49 percent to 39 percent, a new Baltimore Sun poll has found. But at this stage, most voters are opposed to the gambling expansion law, according to the poll. And the electorate is conflicted about a measure to give illegal immigrants more access to higher education, with similar percentages supporting the law and opposing it. The outcome of all three referendums will be decided by a Maryland electorate in which the majority Democrats are expected to turn out in large numbers to support President Barack Obama.