Dan Rodricks, please have a seat ("Is popular vote best way to pick a sheriff?" July 8). The general electorate is already only minimally involved, at best, in the process of filling offices, and a vote for a "down ballot" candidate, as Mr. Rodricks dismissively calls them, represents one of the few opportunities to be involved in a representative fashion in local affairs. If ignorance of candidates' qualifications was a deciding criterion, only a few would be qualified to vote for the office of president of the United States or other federal offices.
Representative democracy is not limited to the what I guess you would call "up ballot" positions. The process is as sound as is likely in our imperfect but pretty darn good system (new is not necessarily better — remember "New Coke?") and I respectfully submit that the current system should be left alone.
Daniel Karp, Hunt Valley
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