June 19, 2024
Annapolis, US 69 F

Elections And The Board Of Education

animated-voteA glitch has come up for the upcoming elections. It seems that the Board of Education has determined that the schools are no longer an appropriate place to host the Annapolis City elections later this year. The story was originally reported in The Capital, and followed up by a column by Eric Hartley and an editorial.

While it seems that the City’s Board of Elections may have known this was coming down the pike, nothing was done. Now we are looking at a fast approaching primary with 8 of the City’s 16 polling places in jeopardy.

  • Germantown Elementary School
  • West Annapolis Elementary School
  • Eastport Elementary School
  • Annapolis Elementary School
  • Annapolis Middle  School (2 polls)
  • Georgetown Elementary School (2 polls)

I have worked as an Election Judge for the County and the City for several election cycles. Aside from the recent presidential election, the majority of the voters seem to be creatures of habit as humans tend to be. No one likes change (again barring the recent presidential election) and I am concerned that when the “usual” polling places are no longer available, rather than seek out the new location, these voters will simply go home.

This is especially critical in the Primary when turnout will be lower in any event. Will the important issues and the selection of our next Mayor be handled by a few hundred people? Quite possibly.

The gauntlet has been thrown and the easiest solution is to get the City in synch with the State and Federal Election cycle as Lee Caudle (mayoral candidate Sam Shropshire’s Campaign Manager) opined in an letter to the editor of The Capital.  However, that cannot be accomplished immediately. The two remaining solutions for this cycle seem to be to work for a compromise with the Board of Education, or to solicit new long term locations and engage a large scale public information blitz to make sure people know that the polling locations have changed.

Which also brings another wrench into the works–what happens in a State or Federal election–where do Annapolitans go? To the new polling place, or to the old one?

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