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Maryland can further reduce barriers to voting | READER COMMENTARY

Yumi Hogan (left) and Gov. Larry Hogan check in at Annapolis Middle School, the site of an early voting location Thursday., July 7, 2022. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)

Thanks to consistent advocacy by voting rights activists and the General Assembly, voters in Maryland have multiple ways to participate in our democracy — a big improvement from voting only on a single day in the middle of the week when many of us have work and family obligations.

A recent study by our organization, the Democracy Initiative Education Fund, found that Maryland is one of the top voter-friendly states in the nation, ranking No. 2 out of 51 jurisdictions. This high standing is based on measures such as ease of voter registration, early voting, and a high ratio of poll workers to polling sites.

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Maryland can do more. We can join the states that offer vote by mail without qualifications, prevent intimidation by prohibiting weapons at polling sites and allow eligible individuals being held in state detention facilities to vote in the districts where they live rather than the one where they are detained.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. When we reduce barriers to participation, we have a stronger, more robust economy and democracy.

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— Charly Carter, Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Democracy Initiative Education Fund.

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