- The Washington Times - Monday, November 4, 2002

In the District, Maryland and Virginia tomorrow, voters will be going to the polls to elect congressional leaders, mayors, state lawmakers and a new governor.
In Maryland, where the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., voters will decide some of the tightest races in the nation.
Voters will chose between Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend for governor. They will choose between Democrat Christopher Van Hollen and incumbent Republican Constance A. Morella in the 8th Congressional District and between Republican Helen Delich Bentley and Democrat C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in the 2nd Congressional District.
In Virginia, where polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., voters in nine Northern Virginia jurisdictions will decide whether to raise their sales tax by a half-percent to pay for transportation projects.
In the District, where Mayor Anthony A. Williams' re-election is virtually ensured by the city's 8-to-1 Democratic majority, voters will face ballot questions on crime and punishment in the city.
District residents will vote on a referendum, known as Measure 62, that would offer drug rehabilitation instead of prison to some nonviolent offenders, a program some critics say already exists in the District. Voters will also decide whether to elect a district attorney expanding home rule or retain the system of using the U.S. attorney to prosecute felony cases.
Polling stations in the District will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Maryland uses four types of voting systems: Oputec III Eagle, Model ES-2000, AccuVote-TS or AVC Advantage System.
The 2-year-old AccuVote-TS system, with a voter-activated 51-inch touch screen, is the latest in Maryland voter technology. It uses an intelligent Voter Card to allow voters to view and cast votes by touching target areas on the electronic ballot.
AccuVote systems in Allegany, Montgomery and Prince George's counties have replaced the Automatic Voting Machine of the 1950s. Manufacturers of Accuvote System, AVC Advantage System and Model ES-2000 say the computers prevent voters from selecting more than the designated candidates.
In Maryland's 17 other counties, in 12 counties in Virginia and in the District, voters will mark their choices on a paper ballot before feeding it into the Optec-III Eagle system.
Virginia has 39 counties that use a version of the Auto Matic Voting Machine, a printer-equipped machine. The state still uses punch card ballots in Chesterfield, Henrico and New Kent counties.
The absentee ballots receipt deadline was Oct. 29 for sick or hospitalized voters.
Disabled residents can receive help voting.

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