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Readers Respond

Maryland primary moved to meet federal law [Letter]

In response to former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold's letter ("Leopold: June primary a self-serving move by Democrats," May 2), I am sure Mr. Leopold remembers from his days as a legislator that one of the most important responsibilities of a lawmaker is to ensure that state law complies with, and does not conflict with, federal law. As he is also aware, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act required states to move their primary elections to ensure military and overseas voters are given adequate time to receive and cast their ballots.

We could have moved the primary to its current date of June 24 or to a date much later in the summer. The late June date was a policy decision intended to maximize voter turnout without conducting an election in the dog days of summer when voters are less engaged for numerous reasons. Whether Mr. Leopold likes it or not, this date was not a self-serving move by Democrats, but rather a policy decision that complies with federal law while providing opportunity for voters to be informed before casting their ballots.

Jon S. Cardin

The writer, a Democrat, represents Baltimore County's District 11 in the Maryland House of Delegates and chairs the House Election Law Subcommittee. He is a candidate for attorney general.

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