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Md. primary election Tuesday

Washington Co. voters have a lot of decisions

Washington Co. voters have a lot of decisions

February 11, 2008

Today is primary election day in Maryland.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Washington County voters will decide today whether to approve charter home rule.

They will also cast ballots for presidential and 6th congressional district candidates, narrow the field of board of election candidates to eight and choose party delegates to the national conventions.

All registered voters, including independents, may cast ballots on the home rule question and for board of election candidates, who are nonpartisan.

The outcome of the ballot question on charter home rule could change the way Washington County is governed.

If the charter is approved, the county's governing body would change from a five-member board of commissioners to a seven-member county council.

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That council would be able to pass local legislation without approval by the Maryland General Assembly, which now must vote on all Washington County bills.

The charter also would give voters the right to challenge some legislation passed by the council through referendum, or public vote.

Proponents of the charter say it will make local government more accountable to county residents. Opponents argue that it will destroy a system of checks and balances that exists between the General Assembly and county government.

The field of nine candidates running for the Washington County Board of Education includes two incumbents and three former board members.

Voters will select the eight candidates who will move forward to the Nov. 4 general election. The candidates in the nonpartisan race will compete in the general election for four open seats on the board. Board members serve four-year terms.

Democrats and Republicans each will select nominees to run for the congressional seat in the 6th District. There are five candidates on each side of the ballot.

Polling station 26-1 in District 2A has changed from Hickory Elementary School on Hickory School Drive in Halfway to St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Center at 17630 Virginia Ave. in Hagerstown, Washington County Elections Board Director Dorothy Kaetzel said.

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