Baltimore City Council Vote to Give Themselves One Extra Year

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Last Week, the City Council approved a change to Baltimore’s charter that would move local elections to align with the presidential cycle. The change would save taxpayer money and could potentially increase voter turnout. Oh yeah, and it would give the Mayor and the City Council an extra year in office.

Some local activists smell a rat and are campaigning for city voters to reject the measure. Problem is, the Maryland General Assembly has already passed a bill moving all cities to the presidential cycle.

The other option would have been to align city elections with the gubernatorial cycle, a shift advocated by the Baltimore Election Change Coalition, which studied voter turnout over the past two decades and found that gubernatorial elections bring more Baltimoreans to the polls than do presidential elections. But of course, that choice would have shortened everyone’s term.

Unsurprisingly, in its defense of the shift, the mayor’s office pretends that the only other option was to keep everything as is. The mayor’s spokesman, Ryan Doherty, said, “Some may support keeping the status quo, the mayor certainly doesn’t.”

Yeah, and others may support moving elections to the gubernatorial cycle, which would increase voter turnout even more, but whatever.

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