Quite a theory: No law is unfair if only that law is being followed.
According to an election board attorney in Howard County, Maryland, tossing 80 percent of the signatures on a voters’ petition does not add up to a “right-to-vote case” at all. Gerald Richman says the board merely “[carried] out the dictates of the law.” He denies that “fundamental fairness is an issue.”
The proposed referendum aimed to stop a rezoning in Howard Country permitting the building of larger grocery stores. I’m skeptical of zoning as an instrument to protect citizens and their property, so if I resided in Howard County, I would not likely vote Yes.
But as things stand now, I also would not be allowed to vote No.
Two months after the election board okayed the first batch of signatures, the board turned on a dime and began massively nullifying signatures, essentially killing petition rights unless voters can win them back in court.
Were the tossed signatures deemed fraudulent? No. The only “problem” is trivial variations between how voters signed their names on the petition and how their names are registered. Things like omitting a middle initial. An attorney for the residents notes that under such restrictive requirements, the signatures of Ben Franklin and John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence could not have been counted.
That notion of fairness is one King George would’ve been mad for.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.