Letters: Voter ID; Fracking; Renaissance Festival

Letter writer: Judging by my experience as election judge, Maryland's system is secure

Voter ID

When I was an election judge at one of the polling places, a few of those waiting to vote asked me what identification they needed or expressed concern that Maryland not requiring ID could lead to fraud. None of the judges at my polling place ever expressed concern about people not being who they said they were. There were no challenges.

If potential voters' names aren't in the precinct list or even the state list, they vote with a provisional ballot. The outside of the separate provisional ballot envelope contains all of the voter information and reasons for voting provisionally. The actual ballot is placed in the folder and then in a separate orange provisional bag. After the election, each folder is reviewed as to whether it meets the requirements for voting. Only if it does will it be counted.

Our Maryland system is really more secure than even a picture ID, which could be forged or stolen if the picture looked like the voting individual.

At check-in, voters are asked for name, street address and birth date. A fraudulent voter would have to have memorized these to could rattle them off quickly to the check-in judge.

Also, if someone is impersonating a legitimately registered voter in the precinct, one of two things is likely to happen. Either the poll book shows that person has voted already or, when the legitimate person comes to vote, he or she would be told he or she voted already. There were no incidences of this at my polling place in this election or the six or more elections during which I have been a judge.

These are my own opinions and are not meant to represent the Board of Elections.

TIM BARNUM

Severna Park

Fracking

When the noxious dust from the current election campaign finally clears, and the post-mortems begin, one thing will be clear. Our media outlets have surrendered their once-proud "fourth estate" position as the electorate's source of unbiased reporting on issues and candidates.

Only a willfully blind naif could ignore the obscene bias present in the media's reporting today, not to mention the collusion that has been reported as occurring between political campaigns and friendly media outlets.

Which leads us to The Capital's front-page article "County Council members back fracking ban" (Oct. 13). I admit to being clueless about the puts and takes of fracking, so I read the article carefully to try to glean enough information to at least begin forming an opinion. It turned out to be a fool's errand.

Nowhere in the article was there the barest mention of any opinion supporting the idea that fracking can be conducted safely and is a boon to the economy and energy independence. So I devoted an entire 30 seconds to Internet research and found, among others, 2012 and 2015 Yale articles giving a reasonably balanced discussion of the issue. It's not like I had to go to the library.

There is no excuse for this shallow, deliberate and obvious bias. Please do give your readers some credit for being able to make a rational decision on an issue if given correct and complete facts on which to rely.

HENRY GODDARD

Crofton

Renaissance Festival

Bernard Kaufman's letter about the Renaissance Festival (The Capital, Oct. 24) complained about traffic and suggested it is time to move the festival. I couldn't disagree more.

I live off South Haven Road, and even though I have strategies for avoiding Ren Fest traffic, I, too, got caught in the terrible traffic on a recent Saturday. However, we have to deal with this for only about nine weekends a year — 18 days.

I have no doubt that if the Ren Fest were to move, that giant field would not be filled with cars, but with new roads and scores of new, large houses, each with several cars. The traffic problems would ease for 18 days a year, but would dramatically increase for the other 347 days, when these new homes, people and cars would be a constant presence every day.

On top of that, the increased stormwater and septic pollution would further impair the South River, which is fighting to make a comeback.

As a local resident who is impacted by the Renaissance Festival, I am glad that its season is over. I am also glad that it will be coming back next year.

PETER J. MARX

Annapolis

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