By Tashi McQueen, AFRO Political Writer,
Report For America Corps Member,
Nov. 8 will be remembered as more than election day in the middle of President Joe Biden’s first term as many Baltimoreans exercised the voting franchise to elect the state’s first Black governorand consider a range of ballot initiatives, including legalizing recreational marijuana.
Nov.8 was no ordinary day, said Abigail Goldman, deputy director of elections for Baltimore City. “Voting is your opportunity to decide who gets to lead you.”
Statewide candidates included (D) Wes Moore and (R) Dan Cox for governor of Maryland, (D) Del. Brooke Lierman and (R) Barry Glassman for state comptroller and (D) Rep. Anthony Brown and (R) Michael Peroutka for attorney general.
Numerous voters arrived at the Baltimore City Board of Elections building on Nov. 8 to drop off their mail-in ballots; others went inside to cast ballots.
Baltimore resident Myra Otgonjargai, 61, said it is important to vote so people like her who are not satisfied with the state of the city can have a say in the future of the community they love.
Abigail Goldman, the election deputy director of the Baltimore City Board of Elections, spoke with the AFRO about turnout and the importance of voting.
She revealed that as of noon on Nov. 8, 24,459 people had voted in 269 polling places. He added that 34 drop boxes were used.
One young Baltimore resident said he votes to counteract disproportionately negative views of Baltimore. “Baltimore City is one of those cities in the U.S. that gets labeled as crime-ridden, blaming People of Color,” said Noah Smith. “Voting can help to disrupt the negative view of a city like Baltimore, which is why I vote.”
Since COVID-19 surfaced, in-person voting has decreased, and mail-in ballot rates have increased. By comparison, in 2018, by 1 p.m., 56,000 eligible Baltimore voters had put in their Ballots.
“Politicians need to stick to the laws of the land and not govern by the rule of thumb,” said Ms. Otgonjargai. “Many people died to get where we are right now,” said Ms. Otgonjargai. “Their lives are in vain if we do not get out and vote.”
Black voting rights have been an uphill battle that civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall and Ella Baker eventually put their lives on the line to influence reform.
African Americans’ ability to participate in the “free and fair” election.
She said crime is one of the biggest ticket concerns for her this election season. She said addressing the problem through disciplining the youth will solve Baltimore’s crime issues.
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