Vol. 10, No. 29

July 18-24, 2002

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Campaign ’02: If You Don’t Vote, You’re in for the Big Sting

In this issue, Bay Weekly begins our coverage of a Maryland political campaign that promises to be one of the most compelling in a long time.

No, it’s not a presidential election year. But many other elected offices are up for grabs, particularly the county-level positions where so many vital decisions are made.

As you will see in these pages, both Anne Arundel and Calvert feature vibrant, multi-candidate contests for county board and council.

We spent last week talking to many of your neighbors who want to represent you in county races — including Anne Arundel’s Republican primary for county executive — and we will bring you more such stories leading up to Maryland’s September 10 primary.

Of course, the governor’s race is the Big Enchilada this year, as Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Rep. Robert Ehrlich square off as the likely opponents in the race to replace term-limited Gov. Parris Glendening.

We caught up with Ehrlich last week for a conversation about issues on the minds of many of our readers: the environment and Chesapeake Bay.

Stay tuned, too, for reports on General Assembly races under Maryland’s new court-ordered map. They bear extra attention this year because once legislators are elected, they typically remain in the job for years.

In our view, all this adds up to an exciting year beckoning you to take part in our democracy.

Elsewhere in the nation, something strange has been taking place this political season. In 16 states that have held primary elections so far, turnout actually is down from previous years, according to a new study by the non-partisan Committee for the Study of the American Electorate.

We see this trend as troubling and downright inexplicable given the renewed sense of patriotism in America since the terrorist attacks.

So get to know what your candidates stand for. Then vote — early and often: both in the Primary September 10 and in the General November 5.

If you don’t, don’t expect us to listen, for you’ve lost your voice.

You’ll be lucky to escape the fate of former friends and neighbors who didn’t bother to register: They were tossed into a tank of stinging sea nettles.

Copyright 2002
Bay Weekly