Volume 14, Issue 32 ~ August 10 - August 16, 2006


Reality Check: The Primary Election and Your Right to Whine

We know, we know: It’s the dog days of August.

You’re entitled to a break, and we hope you’re reading this from the deck of your boat. But let us gently remind you that Maryland’s September 12 primary is drawing so close that now is the time to either start paying attention — or just shut up.

For if you don’t tune in now, you’ll forfeit the right to complain when they build a McDonald’s on that nearby country road or condos on your favorite beach.

Unless you’re on the ball, you just might select a dim bulb for Maryland’s open U.S. Senate seat or a candidate for comptroller who could care less about the environment when he (or she) casts votes on Maryland’s Board of Public Works.

Locally, the stakes are higher this year than any time in recent memory. Here’s an example: Just now, Anne Arundel and Calvert counties are revising their critical area plans, a requirement every six years. The Anne Arundel county council, which is certain to have at least three new members, has postponed its vote on a proposed revision until after the election. As writer Alex Brozena observes in a story in this issue, this is your golden opportunity to ask county council and executive candidates what the critical area revisions should look like.

The same process is underway in Calvert, where you’ve got 21 aspiring commissioners, several backed by developers. You can ask about critical area regulations and about anything on your mind in these days when it’s hard to venture out into public without tripping over a candidate.

Remember, too, that the voter registration deadline is fast approaching. The completed application must land in a state election office by August 22 or carry an August 22 postmark to qualify for the upcoming election. This is also the first year that you can go to selected polls early — from Tuesday, September 5 through Saturday, September 9 — if you’d rather not wait until Primary Day on the 12th.

Are you ready?

If you don’t leap into the political world soon, the shape it takes is nothing you get to whine about.

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