Over 4,000 registered voters in Baltimore City have been removed from the voter rolls since the 2012 presidential election.

The 2008 and 2012 presidential elections saw 67 and 66 percent voter turnout in Maryland, according to the United States Elections Project, an information source on elections research by Dr. Michael McDonald, a used to the fact—or none of us are—that the primary has come so soon, so we’re trying to do the best we can to keep people pumped up,” said Hill- Aston. 

In order to register to vote in Maryland, you must be in the state of Maryland, if a jury notice or any correspondence from a local board of elections to a registered voter is returned, the local board of elections will send a second correspondence to verify the address, according to Abigail Goldman, deputy director of the Baltimore City Board of Elections. If that second correspondence is also returned, the voter is placed on an inactive list.

Once placed on the inactive list, if that voter then fails to vote in the next two general elections, one gubernatorial and one presidential, he or she is removed from the roll of registered voters altogether.

That’s one of the reasons professor at George Mason University and a non- resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, according to its website. The last two midterm elections in 2010 and 2006 saw that percentage drop to approximately 47 percent in the Old Line State.

For Young, the lack of voter engagement during mid- term elections is a mistake.

“If we do not see the voters come out in strong numbers around this country,” said Young, “we could very well see red states putting forth candidates and winning that could beat the blue states, and that could lead the Obama administration to become lame duck.”

According to Young, the goal for Votefest 2014 was to register at least 1,000 people, with the assistance of the Baltimore Urban League, the a U.S. citizen, a Maryland resident, and at least 16 years old, according to the State Board of Elections website. While anyone 16 years of age or older may register, you must be 18 in order to vote in any elections.

Additionally, anyone with a past felony conviction is eligible to register and vote so long as he or she has completed serving any court-ordered prison term, including parole or probation.

Roberto Alejandro

Special to the AFRO