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Letters to the editor

April 27, 2006

Early voting plan not a partisan idea, but electoral reform



To the editor:

Bob Maginnis' April 19 column about the 2006 legislative session makes a number of interesting points. But it draws the conclusion that partisan politics was the primary reason for the passage of our new early voting bill enacted over the governor's veto and a factor in strongly supported bills not being passed by the midnight end of session deadline. I completely disagree with this premise.

The early voting bill needs to be viewed as part of a package of voting reforms the General Assembly enacted. For example, new legislation will enable any voter to apply for an "on demand" absentee ballot. This would be a benefit to rural voters who currently have to travel long distances to vote. And of course all voters will be able to vote at their designated poll on Election Day.

In our more sparsely populated jurisdictions, early voting sites will be placed in county seats. In the remaining counties, we selected sites in densely populated areas, with adequate parking, and access to major roads and public transportation.

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As much as possible, we chose recognizable public buildings, such as libraries, to ensure handicap accessibility and secure storage for voting machines. By doing this, we made early voting convenient for as many voters as possible.

Nine of those early voting sites would be located in Prince George's County, Montgomery County and Baltimore City. While these are primarily Democratic areas, they are also the most heavily populated jurisdictions in the state.

I share your frustration that the General Assembly (Senate) ran out of time to pass important legislation. However, your view that partisan excess of the Democratic leadership was the cause ignores the fact that Democratic leadership in the House of Delegates led the fight that resulted in overwhelming passage of a number of BGE and child predator proposals in the House.

As you correctly point out, the original deregulation bill was passed in 1999. But you fail to mention that it had strong bipartisan support. In fact, the only members opposing it were Democrats, all Republicans voted for passage.

Deregulation was adopted by a number of states that felt it would be beneficial to energy rates.

No one could have foreseen Sept. 11 and its effect on our energy supply or the damage that Katrina did to so many of our country's energy facilities. And we in Maryland certainly did not imagine a Public Service Commission composed of members with so many ties to the industry they are supposed to regulate.

Kumar P. Barve

Majority Leader

House of Delegates

Annapolis, Md.




Don't make the grief worse



To the editor:

I read with great interest the sad, unbelievable story on the front page of The Morning Herald about the stolen urn.

The picture of the woman sitting there with arms crossed could in no way express the pain that woman is dealing with.

The loss of her daughter was an emotional turmoil she will probably never get over. The terrible tragedy that has befallen this woman comes from someone with a very sick mind.

You know who you are, and if you have any conscience or compassion, you will return the urn without further ado.

This woman suffered a great loss. She should not have to relive this terrible ordeal.

Please return the urn.

Patricia Cross

Hagerstown




Thank you for supporting Ian



To the editor:

On behalf of Mt. Aetna Adventist School, I would like to express my gratitude to The Herald-Mail and the community of Hagerstown for their thoughtful notes and generous support of Ian Rogers and his family.

Six-year-old Ian continues his battle with a brain tumor at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, and his devoted family never leaves him unattended. The read response to your timely article published last month has provided them with much encouragement and comfort, as well as nearly $1,700 toward the family's mounting expenses. What a great blessing you have been.

An anonymous reader wrote the following note, enclosing a $20 bill:

"Not many things move me to tears at this point in my life. Ian's story did. I know this isn't much help, but it's what I can give. I wish Ian strength, and his family peace."

Thanks to all of you who were thus moved by Ian's story - to those of you who gave - and to those of you who continue to pray. This is community at its best.

God bless you.

Kandace Zollman

Principal

Mt. Aetna Adventist Elementary School

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