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Leopold: June primary a self-serving move by Democrats [Letter]

12:00 PM EDT, May 2, 2014

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One of the most cynical and self-serving actions taken by the General Assembly was moving the primary election from September to June

Rather than try to stimulate greater voter turnout and public participation in the political process, the June date seeks to depress it. More families are on vacation in June, and interest in voting is expected to be tepid.

Maryland had to move its primary date earlier to comply with federal requirements designed to provide enough time to get general election absentee ballots to military personnel serving overseas, but the General Assembly could have moved the date back a matter of weeks rather than months. And there is no good reason for its decision to make the filing deadline four months before the primary rather than the customary two.

One evident purpose of the early primary is to allow for a longer time period for the Democratic Party to heal its wounds and unite behind the gubernatorial nominee after a divisive primary. As with legislative redistricting, the goal is to serve the political interests of the dominant political party rather than the general public interest.

When the General Assembly convenes in January, it should move the primary back to September.

John R. Leopold, Pasadena

The writer, a Republican, is the former Anne Arundel County executive.

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