Letter to the Capital Gazette Editor: Voter Turnout Increased in Wards 4, 6 and 7
Recent articles in the Capital regarding the primary elections lamented the low turnout of Annapolis voters on September 19 with just 26.3%. On September 27, the Capital commented, “Ward 4 did see a slight bump from 2013 when just 10.2 percent of voters went to the polls,” and a September 21 editorial said turnout for the recent primary “was the scantiest in Ward 4—just 15.3 percent.” Action Annapolis, Bywater Mutual Homes, and Harbor House/Eastport Terrace Residents’ Association take exception to your comment that the increase from 10.2% to 15.3% is “a slight bump.”
Action Annapolis calculated the percent change between actual voters participating in the 2013 and 2017 primary elections. Ward 4’s voter turnout increased by a whopping 60.9% (2013 – 235; 2017 – 378), Ward 6’s by 29.5% (281, 364), and Ward 7’s by 33.4% (419, 559) making the increases in voter turnout within these wards among the highest in our eight wards — a significant bump.
Before the September primary, Bywater Mutual Homes and Harbor House partnered with Action Annapolis to present nonpartisan political forums in Wards 4 and 6, where residents had the opportunity to question candidates for City Council on issues facing the wards and the city. In addition, we registered voters, posted candidates’ questionnaire responses to our website, and distributed voter information.
Action Annapolis and its partners cannot claim all the credit for the increase in turnout in Wards 4, 6, and 7. But we feel the hard work of Bywater, Harbor House, and Action Annapolis with candidate cooperation, did effect turnout in the primary election.
If all candidates, especially the mayoral candidates, send a strong message to all Ward voters that their votes count, the Annapolis City Council and Mayor will represent, if not all of the people, at least more of the people.
Kathryn Dahl, Action Annapolis
Deneice Fisher, Chair, Bywater Mutual Homes Board of Directors
Andre Atkins, President, Harbor House/Eastport Terrace Residents Association