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“Nationals October 2019

Ward 2 Candidate, Scott Gibson, Calls For Non-Partisan Elections

| May 25, 2021, 10:23 AM

Scott Gibson

Scott Gibson, Candidate for Alderman, City of Annapolis, Ward 2

Ward Two City Council Candidate, Scott Gibson, submitted testimony to the Annapolis Charter Review Commission calling for the City to abandon its partisan election system in favor of non-partisan elections; Annapolis is one of three cities in Maryland that still uses a partisan election system. Charter Review Commissions in 2011, 2002, and 1996 have also recommended switching to non-partisan elections, but the City Council has failed to adopt the change.

According to Gibson, “Annapolis is best served when its elections include as many voices as possible. Sadly, its current partisan election system favors some and discounts the voices of others.”

In his testimony, Gibson highlighted several ways Annapolis’s partisan election system excludes people from having a voice in their city’s elections.

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“Nearly one-third of Annapolitans are neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and our partisan election system puts them at a distinct disadvantage,” said Gibson. “As a member of a major party, I simply had to fill out the form and pay a fee to be listed on the primary ballot. If I were not affiliated with one of the major parties, I would have to go door to door seeking petition signatures to get on the ballot. Non-partisan elections would level the playing field and make it easier for independent voices to be on the ballot.”

Gibson also noted the phenomenon of elections being essentially settled by the primary ballot. In the 2013 and 2017 city elections, roughly half of city council seats were decided by the Democratic Primary and uncontested in the general election. Primary elections are known to attract fewer voters and exclude unaffiliated and third-party voters altogether.

“City government isn’t about partisan issues; it is about good public service and values. Partisan elections are excluding some of our neighbors from important decisions. It is time for them to be replaced with an election system that invites more voices into our elections,” said Gibson.

Find out more about Scott Gibson at his campaign website.

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