Term Limits, Voting Age Are Topics Of New Survey About Annapolis City Elections


The City of Annapolis announced a new survey Tuesday to gather feedback on potential changes to city elections. The questionnaire is open until Aug. 11. Annapolis City Hall is pictured above on a different day. (Jacob Baumgart/Patch)

Press release from the City of Annapolis:

ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 25, 2023) - The City of Annapolis’ Task Force to Study the City Municipal Elections Laws, an all-volunteer group appointed by Mayor Gavin Buckley and approved by the Annapolis City Council, have launched a questionnaire to poll residents about how the City of Annapolis might improve municipal elections in the City of Annapolis. The questionnaire is open until August 11, 2023 at midnight. Resident input from the questionnaire will be taken into consideration by the Task Force in preparing a report for the City Council with recommendations on reforms to the City’s election laws.

Registered voters in the City of Annapolis are invited to participate by following this link: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/e7878bf5ea82482eaa92f5af0dd452b3

The survey is 10 questions and is estimated to take two to three minutes to complete. Participants may remain anonymous or submit an email address to be registered for a $25 gift certificate to a local Annapolis business. Winners will be selected at random from the emails submitted.

Annapolis municipal elections are conducted in off-years, meaning they do not align with either presidential or state and county election years. Migrating Annapolis elections to align with either of those cycles could limit the high cost of independently-run primary and general elections that are exclusive to Annapolis. If the City were to piggyback on Anne Arundel County voting operations, there is an opportunity for significant financial savings, alongside the potential for enhanced voter turnout. However, the Task Force has determined that a realignment would require either cutting short the term of mayor and alderpersons by a year (to align with presidential elections), or extending the term of mayor and alderpersons by a year (to align with state/county elections). Currently, the mayor and alderpersons are elected to four-year terms.

Other issues being examined by the Task Force include vote-by-mail balloting vs. in-person voting, using open or closed primary systems, offering same-day voter registration, lowering the age for municipal elections, and instituting term limits for alderpersons (the Office of Annapolis Mayor is currently limited to two, four-year terms).

The Task Force will review the results of the questionnaire in late August and present their findings to the City Council in the fall.

This press release was produced by the City of Annapolis. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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