Vollmer: ‘Let everyone vote on paper’

Friday, Sept. 29, 2006

I suppose the tally from the State Board of Elections is more or less final, at this point, so I thought I would pass on a few thoughts that I have about the Democratic primary election results, the process, and where do we go from here.

I wish I could have some certainty about the results, but as we all know, the primary election in Maryland was a fiasco, with those access cards arriving hours late at many polling places, and other glitches in the system. How many folks were in fact denied a vote because their polling place was not prepared to proceed with the machines for lack of access cards, and also ran out of provisional ballots, we will never know.

I don’t claim to have been deprived an election victory due to this breakdown, but some of the other candidates certainly are in such a position. I think we must all demand that we be allowed to vote on paper ballots in the November general election. Just increase the print order for the absentee ballots and let everyone vote on paper, with a choice of going to the polls on Election Day or voting absentee. It is that simple.

So where do we go from here? I have always been, more or less, a loyal Democrat, but I am getting a little tired of the litany that our survival depends upon consolidating and building upon Democratic victory after Democratic victory. Our two-party system often fails to provide people with true choices, and we really need to work for a system that accommodates a greater diversity of voices.

In both the District 8 congressional race and in the U.S. Senate race, there are new voices — Green Party candidate Gerard Giblin in the District 8 race, and independent voice Kevin Zeese in the battle for the U.S. Senate seat.

I believe our current system fails in many instances to provide the voters with real choices. If we are going to change this, we need to at least acknowledge and listen to the independent voices.

Deborah A. Vollmer, Chevy Chase

The writer, a Democrat, was a candidate for the House of Representatives in District 8.