Volume 12, Issue 44 ~ October 28- November 3, 2004
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Letters to the Editor

We welcome your opinions and letters — with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, 1629 Forest Dr. Annapolis, MD 21403 • E-mail them to us at editor@bayweekly.com. Or Click Here to Submit Your Letters Online.

No Secret Ballot for Absentees

Dear Bay Weekly:
I am voting with an absentee ballot and was very surprised to see my party affiliation clearly identified on the outside of both the absentee application envelope and the actual ballot mailing envelope.

If Florida’s fiasco and purported fixes in the computerization of the ballot box is any indication, this next election’s outcome will be even more controversial. In this election millions of voters are trying to protect their vote by using absentee ballots as a method to avoid the dangers of computer tampering. I am one such voter seeking refuge. Florida and other states are reporting 400 percent-plus increases in absentee ballot requests due to fear of the new computer voting machinery. Some refuge.

A printed party affiliation on the outside of each return envelope certainly makes it easy for partisan handlers to figure out which ballot is valid and which is not. I called the FEC and the State’s Board of Elections to find out what legislation allowed this. They provided no answers, only saying several people had complained.

The FEC along with a national nonpartisan panel needs to review and make recommendations of our election process, and changes need to be implemented in order to protect the democratic process

—Victoria Casasco, Annapolis

Why I Oppose Calvert’s Code Home Rule

Dear Bay Weekly:
The proposed system of Code Home Rule would strip the checks and balances from Calvert County.

The Board of County Commissioners acts in both legislative and executive capacity, rather than as in charter government with both county council and county executive. Now the state delegation provides checks and balances.

Under Code Home Rule, the state is removed from granting certain authorities (such as some taxing); checks and balances are no more.

Second, commissioners now go to Annapolis annually for authority to bond money for capital projects. Commissioners submit requests for legislation to the delegation in a comprehensive list, so we must prioritize the range of requests.

Under Code Home Rule, we could pass bond bills throughout the year, without considering what other projects might require funding later.

Third, under Code Home Rule commissioners would have to get a bill drafted for consideration. No longer would we make a motion, which passes or fails with a majority. County staff would take requests from five different commissioners to draft bills. I doubt that this more convoluted method would result in efficiencies.

Thus I urge you to vote “no” on Code Home Rule for Calvert County at the ballot box on November 2.

—Linda Kelley, Owings: Calvert County Commissioner

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