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Volume 16, Issue 44 - October 30 - November 5, 2008
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Letter From the Editor

Get Ready For Election Day — And What Follows

Very soon, we’ll be shaking our heads at this amazing election that ushered in a new day in Maryland and across the land.

At Bay Weekly, we don’t endorse candidates. But on occasion we extend that freedom to our columnists, and this week Bill Burton weighs in on the exciting congressional race to replace Wayne Gilchrest in Maryland’s First District.

Why turn it over to Burton? Because Maryland’s 1st — waterfront turf as far as the eye can see — is a big deal for Chesapeake Bay. And at 82, Bill has the long view to put things in perspective.

Enough said, as Burton says.

We don’t endorse, but we make observations. And there are a few things to say about this scintillating and perhaps transforming election.

The slots train has been barreling down on us in Maryland for years. In this economy, it’s unlikely it will be stopped — no matter how many well-meaning folks throw themselves on the track.

It’s too bad supporters have to monkey with the state Constitution to get their way. Our advice to those arguing against the ballot proposal is to get their chips ready to fight the drive for full-blown casino gambling, which surely is on the way.

Speaking of constitutional changes, another one’s on our ballots. Vote yes on the early voting ballot proposal, and Maryland will follow 30-some states away from the tradition of an Election Day when we really do vote.

Sure, we understand that proponents are trying to open doors so that more than six out of 10 us registered — and that’s a huge turnout — will come in to vote.

We don’t buy the argument that increasing the times and places of voting will increase fraud.

We see voting as a communal engagement, a time when we come together with our neighbors to celebrate our civic duty and participatory democracy. Vote early with friends and go to breakfast to prolong the fun. That’s how we do it.

If we lived in Chesapeake Beach, we’d get to vote twice as well as early. As you’ll read in this week’s paper, the town’s 3,300 registered voters choose their mayor and town council at a special election at town hall — not at their regular polling place.

The presidential race is big news, but the disgust and distrust so many people feel at being let down by our decision makers could bring big change to Congress, and maybe even to Maryland’s own congressional delegation.

We expect to wake up to a new era Nov. 5. Make sure you’ve helped shape it. Vote on November 4.

© COPYRIGHT 2008 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.