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April 28, 2014

A “How To” Voters Guide

Jill King

Confusion is running rampant on many of us as we head into the June 24, 2014, primary. Maryland changed legislative districts to account for population changes. Frederick County citizens adopted a new Charter form of government, creating council seats and one county executive.


You will be able to vote for one district council seat and two at large council seats.


The competition for Circuit Court judge is an entirely different story and could be confusing as well.


With this column, hopefully, many will have the tools necessary to end some of the confusion associated with the upcoming election. Below are some hyperlinks that will take you to sites that will answer some questions. Just click on the blue word or phrase and the page will open.


If you haven't registered to vote, put in for address changes, or changed your voting status, don't worry, you still have time. June 3 is the cut off for the primary. The general election deadline is October 14.


In 2007, the laws in Maryland changed to include those incarcerated felons to restore their voting rights, unless convicted of buying and selling votes.


At any time, anyone can view their voter registration on line, using interactive mapping to understand much of the necessary information. When you type in your address, you will receive information pertaining to your polling place, which legislative and council district you reside in.


Early voting will take place from June 12-19 for those who wish to utilize these sources. The polling sites for Frederick County are as follows:


Frederick Senior Center

1440 Taney Avenue

Frederick, MD 21702


Thurmont Regional Library

76 East Moser Road

Thurmont, MD 21788


Urbana Regional Library

9020 Amelung Street

Frederick, MD 21704


Another manner in which to vote, if incapacitated during this time, is through Absentee Ballots, which you can print, fill out, and send in by mail. The instructions are on this link. These also enable our military from Frederick County the ability to vote.


If you would like to review the ballot you will see when voting, the proofs are already available on the State Board of Elections website. There are several ballots; both Democrat and Republican on this site that will help you see who is running in your district.


Judge of the Circuit Court, Judicial Circuit 6 race is very different and appears on ballots, for Democrats and Republicans.


This position is appointed by Gov. Martin O'Malley and only appears on the ballot if there is a challenge. This time, Scott Rolle is challenging recently appointed Judge Danny O'Connor on the basis of his claim to having more experience in the courtroom, specifically Circuit Court.


Mr. Rolle did apply when the position opened.


Research has shown that Governor O'Malley has appointed Circuit Court judges, as of late in Frederick County, with a history of large donations to Senator Young's campaign. This is common with appointed positions where party line plays in, but have no place. Similarities can be seen in how presidents appoint Supreme Court justices.


Now, for the manner in which the election for Circuit Court judge takes place still baffles me, when it comes to party inferences.


Both judges appear on everyone's primary ballot. The votes are counted separately, by party. If one wins both parties, the election is over. If there is a split, they both will be on the ballot for the general election, for a consensus count.


Finally, here is a list of candidates for each vacancy on the ballot, by title. This has information of contact and how to learn more about them. Do your research, vote with a conscious, educate yourself and most importantly get out and vote.


You have eight days to do this, along with the absentee ballot. Voter registrations can be changed online, for those unaffiliated.


Also, Board of Education elections does not require a party affiliation.


Elections are important and one of our strongest duties as citizens. Being an informed voter is necessary, as there is so much muddying of the party lines. Each person should be vetted as an individual.


Feel free to contact me or your local election board with any questions.


See you at the polls!!!!!


Retraining my brain for the future, conferring with my past....


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