Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Voting Rights

Posted by bsflag2007 on Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Katherine Vaillancourt Voting

Katherine Vaillancourt , Age 17, Votes in Howard County , MD Primary Election.

As a rising 18 year old, Katie was able to vote in the presidential primary AND for school board in the non-partisan contest, thanks to Friday’s ruling by the Appeals Court.

I may have a new suit to bring as the Election Judge at the Clarksville Middle School Gymnasium location refused to allow me to photograph my daughter making her court ordered vote. Of course I understand the election judges are tasked with enforcing the rules set forth by the Board of Elections – so other than asking them to confirm with the Board of Elections office I did not make a fuss.

I was told that no electronic devices are allowed at polling places – which is not really accurate , unless they were selectively enforcing the rule by allowing cell phones, ipods, and who knows what other devices — oh, like my camera that I had already used before they told me not to.

I asked how the news people get the pictures of candidates casting their own votes — Bob and Linda (the chief judges) explained that the official Press may be allowed to take a photograph …. at the discretion of the chief judges. I asked them if they would allow a Baltimore Sun reporter to photograph the voter … to which they responded they would have to talk about it.

I requested they go ahead and make that decision before I called for an official press photographer … so we would know whether it was going to be a problem. Judge Linda did not have a problem with it – but Judge Bob said he would not allow it.

Curious, I asked if they had that level of discretion, why would they refuse?

It was all very vague, and a little silly — but I knew I already had a photograph.

Though HoCoMD is not “official press” – I am hereby publishing a photograph of one of the rising 18 year olds who successfully sued the State of Maryland to secure the right to vote in the non-partisan primary election held today, February 12, 2008.

Congratulations on your community service and activism Katherine Vaillancourt.

Cindy Vaillancourt

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