The other opponent


It only seems like the campaign that ends today has lasted forever. In fact, for many potential voters, the campaign may as well have never begun. The candidates in today's primaries face an opponent that doesn't appear on the ballot -- apathy. With no exciting statewide races, election fever seems to have largely bypassed Maryland this year.

Gene Raynor, state administrator of elections, is hoping for a 30 percent turnout across the state, but other observers predict it will be more like 25 percent. Either way, the important choices that any election presents will be made by a small fraction of Maryland citizens. A year from now, two years from now and beyond, many of the candidates who win their party's nomination today will be making decisions that will help shape the future of this state and its residents. If those decisions are unpopular or unwise, non-voters will have only themselves to blame.

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