"No Excuse" Voting
The Republican National Committee joined the crowd encouraging Maryland voters to cast their ballots absentee with an e-mail sent today complete with sites linking GOP voters to ballot applications.
"Maryland has made it easy for you to make your voice heard," the RNC declares. "Cross this important item off your fall to-do list now by voting."
Ironically, it was the Republicans in Annapolis, led by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who strenously opposed legislation that allowed absentee voting for any reason. (Previously voters had to provide a reason such as service in the armed forces, illness, disability or absence on Election Day).
In fact, Ehrlich vetoed the 2005 bill , declaring that "no excuse" absentee voting would be an "invitation for greater voter fraud," unless implemented with more stringent requirements for identification. Several other states use the same system but require more verification, he argued.
He called for setting up a committee to study the absentee proposal and other voting bills. The General Assembly overrode his veto in January.
Now Ehrlich is aggressively urging people to make use of the new provision. His strategy counts on loyal Republicans to cast their ballots early. And it allows the governor's campaign aides to check those voters off their list and concentrate on bringing others out to the polls on Nov. 7.
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