The League of Women Voters Host Forum for Congressional District One Candidates

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On Sunday October 21 candidates for United States House of Representatives, (MD District 1),  Andy Harris (Republican), Jesse Colvin (Democrat), and Jenica Martin (Libertarian) will participate in what may be the only scheduled forum for this race. It will be held at the Talbot County Free Library at 100 W. Dover St., Easton, at 2:00 p.m.

Candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and answer questions they have received in advance from the League of Women Voters. Audience members may submit questions to be answered by the candidates, and each candidate will also present closing remarks.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization dedicated to promoting informed and active participation in government; it does not support or oppose any candidates for office or political parties.  In accordance with the League’s 501-c-3 status and Federal election laws, no demonstrations will be allowed in the event venue. No clothing or signs indicating support for or against a candidate will be permitted. Forums may not be recorded or filmed, unless with written agreement from the League of Women Voters.

For more information please contact: Nancy Smith at nismith@verizon.net.

1st District Election Forum at Chesapeake College April 10

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The six candidates from both major parties seeking Maryland’s 1st District Congressional seat will take part in a forum at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10.

The free and nonpartisan event will be conducted by Leagues of Women Voters serving Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties in advance of the primary election taking place April 14-21 and 26.  The public may submit written questions to the candidates as part of the program.

The 1st Congressional District includes all of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and parts of several other counties. It is represented by Andy Harris, a resident of Harford County. Representative Harris, now completing his third term, is being challenged by Republican opponents  Michael Smigiel , a former state delegate and Cecil resident; Sean Jackson, a commander of the State Police; and Jonathan Goff, a Harford resident who also challenged Harris in 2014.

Democrats vying for that party’s Congressional nomination are Jim Ireton and Joe Werner. Ireton, of Wicomico, is an educator who has served as a councilman and mayor of Salisbury. Werner is a lawyer and resident of Harford.

All candidates will respond within time limits to League questions given them in advance, then entertain queries from the audience.

 Primaries in Maryland are closed, which means that persons registered in a party will be selecting candidates only from among those in their party.

Signs will direct voters to the Cadbury Auditorium, in the Kent/Humanities building on the Chesapeake campus. 

 

For more information on the primary, which also will select nominees for president and a Maryland senator, see the League-sponsored website, vote411.org. Site data includes polling locations and early voting options based on the user’s address.

League of Women Voters Annouces 2015 Priorities

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The non-partisan League of Women Voters of Maryland has announced its advocacy priorities for the 2015 Legislative Session.

The volunteers of the League will hoist the banner of redistricting reform in their Tame the Gerrymander campaign and will work for a Livable Future for Maryland in a comprehensive set of goals for a better environment for our children.

The League seeks a fair and open redistricting system in Maryland rather than a system in the hands of establishment politicians.

Clean water, clean air, and clean renewable energy will be a focus of the environment priority. The League will work to get legislation to raise the renewable portfolio standard to 40 per cent clean renewable energy by 2025.

Climate change mitigation will be advocated through strengthening and readopting the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act and implementing policies to address rising waters.

The League continues to work for many measures for a better Maryland including improved voter access through Election Day registration; campaign finance reform; adequate public school funding; free pre-kindergarten education for all; public transportation and related infrastructure.

The League’s priorities are proposed at the local level by the thirteen county Leagues and put together by the state League. The issues chosen are supported by the positions of the League established by study, discussion and consensus.

The League’s advocacy program is financed by its 501c4 member organization and carried out by its volunteers.

Candidate Forums Upcoming for MD Legislature, QAC Commissioners, US Congress

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During the week of October 13, The League of Women Voters will be holding candidate forums for the Maryland General Assembly (District 36), for the Queen Anne’s County Board of County Commissioners, and for the United States House of Representatives from Maryland’s First Congressional District. These forums provide voters the opportunity to see, hear, and question candidates. All candidate forums are free and open to the public.

The candidate forum for the Maryland General Assembly from District 36 will take place on Tuesday, October 14 at the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education Building, 202 Chesterfield Av. in Centreville. It will be held jointly by the Queen Anne’s County, the Kent County, and the MidShore Leagues of Women Voters. The two candidates for the Maryland State Senate, Benjamin Tilghman (D) and incumbent Steven Hershey (R), will introduce themselves and answer audience questions from 6:30 until 7:30 pm.

At 7:30, candidates for the House of Delegates will present themselves and answer audience questions. All voters choose three delegates to the House of Delegates, and three of the four counties making up the 36th District (Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Kent and Cecil) must be represented. Participants in the House of Delegates forum will be the two opposing candidates from Queen Anne’s County, Irving Pinder (D) and Steve Arentz (R), and the two opposing candidates from Caroline County, Robert Thornton, Jr. (D) and Jeff Ghrist (R). As a result of the Primary, no candidate for the 36th District from Cecil County will be on the ballot. The Republican candidate from Kent County who is on the ballot, Jay Jacobs, has no opposition and will not participate in the forum. League rules do not allow candidates without opposition to take part in forums.

On Thursday, October 16 at 7 pm, the Queen Anne’s County League of Women Voters will hold a forum for the QAC Board of County Commissioners. Participating will be the two candidates for the At-large seat, Suzanne Hogan (D) and Jim Moran (R), and the two candidates from District 2, Fred McNeil (D) and Steve Wilson (R). The four participating candidates will introduce themselves, answer audience questions, and have a brief time for an individual wrap-up. This forum will be held at the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education, 202 Chesterfield Ave., in Centreville.

The prevailing Commissioner candidate in the Primary for District 3, Robert Buckey (R), and write-in candidate Philip Dumenil (R) were invited to participate in this forum. Mr. Buckey declined the League’s invitations to attend, and although Mr. Dumenil accepted, the rules of the League of Women Voters, as noted above, do not allow just one candidate for an office take part in debates or forums without an opponent present, since an unopposed appearance by a candidate could be construed as a campaign event for that candidate. Consistent with this League rule, the Commissioner candidates for District 1, Paul Comfort (R), and District 4, Mark Anderson (R), who have no opposition, were not invited to participate in the forum.

The two candidates for the United States House of Representatives will appear at a forum on Sunday, October 19, hosted by the Queen Anne’s County, the Kent County, and the MidShore Leagues of Women Voters at the Cadby Theater at Chesapeake College, 1000 College Circle, in Wye Mills. The forum will begin at 4 pm. Participating will be Bill Tilghman (D) and incumbent Andy Harris (R). The candidates will introduce themselves, answer questions from the Leagues and then from the audience. They will then have a brief time for a wrap-up.

No electioneering will be permitted inside the buildings where the forums are held; no campaign paraphernalia, including buttons, tee shirts, signs and literature, will be allowed inside. Signs may be posted outside the buildings.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization committed to encouraging the active and informed participation of citizens in government. Membership is open to citizens age 18 or over, men as well as women.

Vote411 Candidate Database Now Available

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Voters throughout Maryland now have access to information on all candidates in the June 2014 Primary Election through an online service, VOTE411.org, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The system went live earlier this month and voters may now enter their home address to access information on the candidates who will appear on their ballot, specifically, candidates’ answers to a series of questions posed by the local Leagues of Women Voters. Those voters wishing additional information about the candidates will find that VOTE411 includes links to websites, Facebook pages and campaign e-mail addresses when those were provided by the candidates. VOTE411 also includes an option for voters to mark the candidates whose responses they prefer and, at the end of the process, print a list of their selections to take to their polling place.

This web-based service is similar to the print Voters Guide that is published by the League in many counties throughout Maryland. VOTE411.org, however, covers all counties in the state including those which do not have a local League. The Voters Guide and VOTE411.org differ from most other organizations’ guides because the League does not endorse candidates, but publishes responses exactly as entered by the candidates. Although questions were sent to candidates by e-mail, many volunteer hours were required to create the online database, entering descriptions of each office on the ballot, crafting questions for the candidates, and following up with them to ensure that they have received the questions and encouraging them to respond.

Many local Leagues will be printing Voters’ Guides for distribution through their respective counties and will post PDF versions on their websites. Voters may take these materials into the polling place to assist them in casting their ballot.

The print Voters’ Guide will appear as a supplement to local newspapers in early June.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to all citizens of voting age.

League of Women Voters Candidate Forum Update for April 27

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The Leagues of Women Voters of Queen Anne’s, Kent, and the MidShore are holding a Forum for the U. S. Congressional Candidates from District One. The forum will take place on Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College which is located at the intersection of Routes 50 and 213. The forum is free and open to the public.

During the first half of the program, the candidates will answer questions that the Leagues provided them a week ahead of time. These questions include their qualifications and goals if elected as well as their views on health care, immigration, unemployment, the effectiveness of the legislative process and the Chesapeake Bay. The second half of the program will be devoted to questions from the audience.

Democratic candidates LaFerla and Tilghman will participate in the Forum. The two Republican candidates will not appear. Representative Harris has a conflict and Mr. Goff has withdrawn from the forum but not the race. The League requests that there be no electioneering, campaign literature or paraphernalia inside the hall. Candidates are asked to place their signs outside the building and distribute their campaign literature and paraphernalia after the forum.

The forum will be recorded by QACTV. Dana York from the Queen Anne’s County League will moderate. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government. Membership is open to all citizens, men and women, of voting age.

Candidate Forum to Include Goff, LaFerla, & Tilghman, April 27

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The Leagues of Women Voters of Queen Anne’s, Kent, and the MidShore are holding a Forum for U. S. Congressional Candidates from District One. The forum will take place on Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College which is located at the intersection of Routes 50 and 213. The forum is free and open to the public.

During the first half of the program, the candidates will answer questions that the Leagues provided them a week ahead of time. These questions include their qualifications and goals if elected as well as their views on health care, immigration, unemployment, the effectiveness of the legislative process and the Chesapeake Bay. The second half of the program will be devoted to questions from the audience.

Candidates Goff, LaFerla, and Tilghman have accepted the Leagues’ invitation to this forum. To date, April 14, we have not had a response from Representative Harris. The League requests that there be no electioneering, campaign literature or paraphernalia inside the hall. Candidates are asked to place their signs outside the building and distribute their campaign literature and paraphernalia after the forum.

The forum will be recorded by QACTV. Dana York from the Queen Anne’s County League will moderate.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government. Membership is open to all citizens, men and women, of voting age.

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