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The Nose

Tentative Dates

Posted 4/23/2003

The Nose has a love-hate relationship with politics, and sometimes we've no choice but to grasp our mercurial partner round the waist and dance, dance, dance. And that time is upon us now. Thanks to the petty politics of Annapolis, where the General Assembly this past session failed to amend Baltimore City's election laws, we're facing a sudden primary season. Mayor, City Council president, comptroller, and a newly structured City Council--they're all in play, and, barring unforeseen legal roadblocks, voters will decide whom they favor on primary day, Sept. 9, and in the general election--currently scheduled for Nov. 2, 2004, 14 months later.What's not so clear are other important election-related dates--such as the filing deadline for candidates, the dates that campaign finance reports are due, and the deadline for candidates to establish residency in the districts in which they plan to run.

"I think it is not the time to ask those questions," says assistant attorney general Judith Armold, the state's lawyer for the elections board, "because we're still not certain, and I'm not going to give you something that is not certain." Armold says "little nuances" have come up in trying to determine these dates, which are calculated based on Maryland law. "The law," she continues without further elaboration, "obviously wasn't intended to deal with the current circumstances, so you come to a lot of questions" when making the election calendar. "The situation is absurd that the General Assembly didn't clarify this, but stranger things have happened," she concludes.

Another elections board source, who shared information anonymously, tells the Nose that "an approved election calendar should be available in May." That's only a month or two before the usual filing deadline in the first days of July. The Nose looks forward to a lot of confusion among potential candidates until all of this is cleared up.

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