Saturday, March 14, 2009

More referendum fun

I don’t support the CB58 referendum, but this is getting ridiculous. 5,000 signatures is a very low threshold and should be raised. But requiring that the names of the signers be printed exactly as their names appear in the voter registration records is too complex. This is taken to the extent of using your middle name versus not using your middle name. Names are too fluid, which is why we have precise numerical identifiers like social security numbers. I for one have no idea how my name appears in the voter registration records.

Board of Elections Director Betty Nordaas said today that the board went back and reviewed the initial batch of signatures in light of a December Maryland Court of Appeals decision.

The review was suggested by the state attorney general’s office on March 11, according to a letter Nordaas gave to Norman the following day.

The court decision placed tighter restrictions on how signatures should be verified, Nordaas said. Voters now must sign their names on the petition form using the exact name that is on their voter registration; variations on a name will no longer be accepted, she said.

Since the 5,000 signatures needed to be submitted in two 2,500 signature batches (one in January and one in February), the 2,500 signature batch from January has been denied or is in question which puts the whole referendum in peril. Again, I don’t support a referendum in this case but the way in which this went down is not cool.

This whole process, not just the referendum but the whole zoning process, is too easily balled up in technicalities.


PZGURU said...

FM - I agree. That is a ridiculously vague application/requirement. So if I sign a petition and leave out my middle initial, then my signature gets voided. Ridiculous. Getting something to referendum in HoCo is like jumping through moving hoops. There's always some technicality that derails an otherwise legitimate referendum drive.

I for one can't stand when big issues such as these can't even get into the courtroom for a public evaluation. The corrupt politicians set up a system that is fake and designed to fail. The citizens think they can take something to referendum, but the system ultimately will not allow it.

The system IS very broken, but the only people who could amend the laws are the very people who have set up and maintained this deceptive system in the first place, and when I say that, I include prior CE's and prior councilpersons, especially those in the majority since HoCo has been fairly lopsided in terms of who's in control. And, when you look at what events are spawning these referendum drives (ie: COMP LITE REZONING) the culprit seems to always be Democrats (Ulman and Guzzone predominantly).