Early Voting Bill in Annapolis
Posted by Ed C on Sunday, January 21, 2007
Remember the early voting petitions this summer? Did you sign one of the green or the blue petitions? Did you think it was over when the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that early voting is unconstitutional?
Well, now is the time to contact your representatives in Annapolis because of the Constitutional Amendment filed by Sen. Miller et al. as Senate Bill #1
Synopsis: Authorizing the General Assembly to provide by suitable enactment a process to allow qualified voters to vote at polling places in or outside their election districts or wards, and on specified days prior to specified election dates; and submitting the amendment to the qualified voters of the State of Maryland for their adoption or rejection.
Currently, a hearing is schedule for Feb 1st.
Personally, I don’t object to the concept of early voting. I believe that the full participation of an informed electorate will only strengthen and improve our representation at all levels of Government. What I do object to is the purely partisan manner in which some of these measures are enacted. The current gerrymandering is bad enough, but trying to further stack the deck with the locations of early polling locations does not serve the citizens of Maryland well. When you look past the flowery rhetoric and noble sounding language and examine the details of the implementation you can see something entirely different.
However, I can even look past those deficiencies because I believe that a good candidate will still prevail. What I do object to is the lack of the requirement to requiring positive identification of a voter; Yes, requiring a photo ID. If you want to vote early, fine. If you want to vote outside of your assigned polling district, well, I can live with that too. As long as you can only vote once and only you can vote under your name then we can have a fair election.
Every vote must count equally. My vote counts the same as yours. If I was inclined to vote myself and for a neighbor (because I know their name, address and birthday) by voting on different days or at different locations, then my “votes” count twice as much as yours. If I get four “friends” to do the same thing five times, well, we get 25 votes to your one – Hardly a fair system. If my friends and I had to show a picture ID, this type of fraud becomes much more difficult and much more likely to be detected. Just like we need to insure that all votes are counted properly, we need to insure that each voter is properly identified as being cast by a legal, registered voter.
Our election system requires confidence in the system. Just like we require that elected officials and others to act without the “appearance of impropriety” we should demand a voting system that inspires confidence by reducing the potential for fraud and abuse.
Now is the time to contact your state legislator and see you on Election Days!