FEW BALTIMOREANS need to be reminded that their hometown is so overwhelmingly Democratic there has not been a single Republican on the City Council since the early 1940s. Yet an African-American insurance agent named Joseph Brown is given a chance of staging an upset for a Sixth District council seat in tomorrow's election. Everything depends on turnout.
Even many Democratic incumbents in supposedly safe districts worry about the recently increased activism of the city's puny GOP, which has filed candidates for all the citywide offices and for council seats in all districts, except for West Baltimore's Fourth.
Part of the Republican strategy rests on an assumption that voter turnout will be low because winners in the mayor's, City Council president's and comptroller's races were effectively decided in the September Democratic primary.
Because there are almost nine registered Democrats in Baltimore for each Republican, the minority party's candidates would have to draw a considerable crossover vote to be successful. Fortunately, all Baltimoreans, regardless of their party registration, can vote for any candidate on the ballot in tomorrow's election, making it a true exercise in popular democracy.
We urge all qualified Baltimoreans to go to the polls tomorrow. They should do so for selfish reasons. The men and women voters elect will formulate the city's policies and spending plans over the next four years.
It is often said jokingly that the American political system enables citizens to vote the rascals in every four years. Any voter who feels strongly about a particular candidate should say so by pulling the lever tomorrow.
Baltimoreans will also be asked to vote on eight questions that would authorize the city to borrow a total of $32 million for needed capital improvements. Every one of these bond questions is important to the quality of life of the city. Rain or shine, registered Baltimoreans should vote as if their hometown's future depended on it. Because it does.