Want to improve turnout? Allow third-party candidates on ballot

Add another reason to your analysis of Tuesday's dismal Baltimore primary election turnout — a state that actually doesn't want people to be engaged in the political process, especially if there's a possibility they might want to change it.

Despite the crocodile tears of politicians asking "what is wrong" with us uninspired, frustrated voters, behind the scenes Maryland's third and fourth-largest political parties are embroiled in a lawsuit for the right to run candidates for office. The Green and Libertarian parties had to go to court to run candidates in the Baltimore elections, but the appeals process may keep our candidates off the ballot and our supporters off the voter rolls in future elections.

The state of Maryland can end this wrangling and show its commitment to voters by dropping its appeal and letting two small political parties put up a few extra choices to help bring sick and tired voters out to the polls. But some people would rather have those folks — including Baltimore voters like myself — stay at home rather than threaten their position of power.

Brian Bittner, Baltimore

The writer is a co-chairman of the Maryland Green Party.

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