If you interfere with someone's right to sign a petition to put the in-state tuition law up for referendum, you should be prosecuted.

Unfortunately, you can't be under present law.

I drafted legislation to make such interference a crime. It passed in the Maryland House of Delegates 89-50, despite unanimous Republican opposition, but was not acted upon by a Senate committee.

Del. Michael Smigiel has complained of voter suppression targeted at supporters of the petition. My bill would have provided an appropriate forum for such claims.

The bill was modeled on existing law, which makes it a crime to obtain or attempt to obtain any signature to a petition by fraud, duress or force.

Its enactment would have resulted in equal treatment of both sides on a petition drive, and I will reintroduce it next year.

Del. Samuel I. "Sandy" Rosenberg

The writer, a Democrat, represents Baltimore City.