Voting under the Fear of Quarantine

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Primary Election Quarantine Style

It feels like a Sunday. But now, every day feels like it is a Sunday – with no baseball game to attend or watch on tv at a sports bar. Overcast cloudy skies misting, trying to rain but only drizzle. Except for a score and more of automobiles parked outside, the complex kinda looked deserted from the outside. Not even social distancing was visible.

Only it is Maryland Primary Election Day quarantine style. That’s right folks, the April 28th primary election day has finally arrived on June 2nd. If a Marylander did not vote by mail in ballot, the state had relented allowing for constitutional in person voting. The faux polling station had a giant receptacle collecting registered voters completed ballots outside the entrance.

Baltimore City had six polling stations and Baltimore County had four. How does that work when the county has a greater population base than the city? I dunno. Well, the municipality has to keep its Board of Elections employee base on the books and employed during the quarantine lockdown.

Because of the Wuhan virus hysteria and a public prerequisite of social distancing, hand gloves and facial masks, the Baltimore County Board of Elections had to rent out a large facility to conduct in person voting on a random Tuesday. School auditoriums, senior centers, and fire station halls were no longer acceptable environs to host an election party.

Vote Against the Unopposed

There were three voting sections inside the complex with barely a standing line. A scant wait time to identify yourself (no driver license required) and being given a green light to proceed to one of the compact voting privacy kiosks spaced out from one another. Out of a total of five positions with candidates seeking these positions, I only voted two names for President and Congress.

I always abhorred voting for an individual running unopposed on the ballot. I never liked this. It’s too easy. A vibrant Constitutional Representative Republic necessitates that people challenge one another for public office. My father said always vote out the incumbent judges. This has been my policy all of my life. With that, I fed my ballot into the tally acceptor. I got to keep the 2020 Census pen. I had handled it after all!

The exterior of the complex was inundated with Mfume placards promoting his resurrected congressional candidacy. This was only the game in town between Mfume and the widow of Cummings seeking to secure the coveted Maryland Seventh Congressional District seat. One man was outside hawking Mfume and a woman was outside promoting Cummings a la Maytag repairman style. No crowd to speak of in sight.

No Consensus on the Census

Anybody remember the 2020 Census? There was a tent erected promoting the 2020 Census. I personally boycotted the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census, but I ended up being counted officially beyond my control in 2020; for the first time in 30 years. Strictly for accounting purposes, my body may have been counted, but my life still does not matter.

I strolled over to chitchat with the woman manning the tent. There were incentives to induce anyone curious enough to visit the booth to comply and complete a Maryland 2020 Census on a tablet. I asked her if anyone still remembered there was a Census going on? First the global quarantine disrupted our daily routines and now national riots have displaced one fear with another fear disturbing the urban peace. What’s gonna be the next distraction attraction?

I asked if I could have a tee shirt. I sleep in tee shirts and also collect tee shirts. You should see my personal Rolling Stones concert tee shirt collection. When I die, somebody is going to make a cool mint selling them off as they are all in pristine condition from the day I originally bought them unused. She gave me a Census tee shirt and I wished the woman well in her endeavor to bean count the populace.

I attended a Census presentation at a public library three months ago today. It was a propaganda demonstration confusing the past history of the national Census with its current status being used as a means to head count dwellers to increase state funding from Congress. I challenged the female speaker on the facts of the Census. She clearly did not like the fact that I was attempting to interject facts into the discussion.

The Census Empowers the Electoral College

My main question was that for those who wish to abolish the Electoral College, then the Census must also be abolished. She argued these were two separate concerns. I said these two Constitutional requirements were married to each other. The Census counted our population to assign an Electoral number to individual states when casting Electoral College ballots for President and the number of House seats each state would possess after a national Census was undertaken each decade.

Abandon the Electoral College and the USA will dissolve into a democracy. Jettison the Census then. It serves no purpose as instituted by our founding fathers. The Census is abused today to divvy up the federal treasury, which is not why this was adopted in September 1787. Using the Census to carve up federal funds and as a funding source is unwise and a selfish practice.

Voting for U.S. Senators was aberated in 1912, when a Constitutional Amendment altered the means by which senators were elected to serve in the U.S. Senate. This action killed States Powers, not States Rights. Citizens have Rights, States have Powers and corporations have money, not rights! The Tenth Amendment recognizes and protects States Powers.

The United States Constitution suffered radical changes a century ago and our nation, our citizenry, our enumerated freedoms, and our money supply have all been punished by these instituted changes. Ratifying Senators to legislate like Representative was the wrong thing to do. Ratifying an income tax was the wrong thing to do. Ratifying Prohibition was the wrong thing to do. Legislating the Federal Reserve Board was the wrong thing to do.

In order to understand what is wrong today, before you can attempt to fix anything now, you must possess an understanding of history, who did what and why and how those actions were wrong, and how all of that has created the problems we deal with today. If you are ignorant of past mistakes, you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes of the past.

Voting by Mail-In-Ballot is Risky

Proclaiming mail in ballots are safe and secure is a farce. Voter fraud is all too real. Maryland experienced several problems while conducting a mail in ballot special election on April 28th. The integrity of an honest vote comes into question when ballots go undelivered, when ballots go missing, when ballots are dismissed for various reasons.

Where is the oversight? Who made these decisions? The Baltimore City Board of Elections should have held a press conference outlining what mistakes were made and which steps they are taking to prevent these same mistakes from happening again. Oh, but that would require logic, accountability and integrity. Not gonna happen.

The other half of this problematic proposition in relying primarily on a mail in ballot election is the postal service itself. How many people believe that the postal service can deliver to residences, collect, postmark and return these absentee ballots (which is truly what they are) to the Board of Elections snail mail address by the deadline date? Not gonna happen.

With a hotly contested Baltimore City race for mayor, you can bet a primary campaign conducted mostly as a mail in ballot election is going to come under scrutiny. The 2016 Baltimore mayor primary election had glitches, but neither of the two top candidates wanted to challenge the final tally. This primary count in 2020 may not be able to get by quietly in the night.

Maryland is notorious for being one of the most gerrymandered states in the Union. Maryland is an indigo state because it is so deep blue. It is not too far off to state that almost all of its judges that sit on the bench would align themselves with the Democrat party. Without a vigorous two-party system to contest the status quo, Maryland and Baltimore are both held hostage by political factions that plunder at will without fear of prosecution.

Author Profile

Timothy Tilghman
Timothy Tilghman
Timothy Tilghman is a Columnist for NRN. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Tilghman earned a Master of Arts degree in verbal and visual communications in December 2002. He has hosted a weekly radio program since June 2010. He has been a contributing Reporter to the Northern News since July 2013, which publishes weekly in Carroll County. Tilghman has written for two collegiate campus newspapers and published several independent newsletters.