- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 2, 2003

Touch-screen voting machines are ready for tomorrow, when Maryland voters facing growth, traffic and tax problems will elect mayors and council members in five cities.

The computerized machines came under suspicion after analysts at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Rice University in Houston said the touch-screen machines suffer from security flaws.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Maryland election officials ordered repairs. Some machines were tested and demonstrated without criticism last week in four of the cities with elections tomorrow.

The fifth city, College Park, home of the University of Maryland, will provide old-fashioned paper ballots for about 10,000 registered voters. Polls will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Traffic along U.S. 1 is an issue in College Park. Candidates favor redevelopment of U.S. 1 to improve traffic flow while assuring pedestrian safety and assisting businesses bordering the highway.

Unopposed in College Park are Mayor Stephen A. Brayman, District 2 council members Robert T. Catlin and John E. Perry; District 3 council members Andrew M. Fellows and Eric C. Olson; and District 4 council member A. Pena MeInyk.

In District 1, incumbent Donald L. Byrd is challenged by John M. Krouse and David L. Milligan.

In Gaithersburg, now the third largest city in the state with 56,000 residents, five candidates are competing for three places on the City Council. Polls open tomorrow at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

The 125-year-old Gaithersburg grew 33 percent during the 1990s. All candidates want development controlled, road improvements to ease traffic jams and new or enlarged facilities for crowded schools. City tax rates have not been increased in 30 years.

Three incumbents and two candidates are seeking election to three at-large City Council positions. Challengers are Austin A. Decker, 28, and Richard Marvin, 51. Incumbents are Stanley J. Alster, 64, Geraldine Edens, 52, and John Schlichting, 44.

In Rockville, population 47,000, two men are competing for mayor while four men and four women are seeking election to four City Council seats. Voters also are being asked if they want election terms expanded from two years to four years.

Debates have focused on development, especially plans to construct a $300 million residential, commercial and entertainment “Town Center,” north of what has been considered the center of Rockville.

“I just think it’s too much government,” said mayoral candidate Russell E. Hamill Jr., 64, recently retired senior assistant Montgomery County administrative officer, who has been endorsed by County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, two former county executives and five former mayors.

Answered Mayor Larry Giammo, 39: “An important priority is to keep the momentum on the revitalization of Rockville’s town center. Finally, after 40 years, we have the opportunity for our town center to become the heart of the Rockville community.”

Rockville council members seeking re-election are: Robert Dorsey, 57, John F. Hall Jr., 39, Susan R. Hoffmann, 59, and Anne M. Robbins, 62. Challengers are Phyllis Marcuccio, 70, Travis P. Nelson, 27, Harry W. Thomas Jr., 50, and Lih Young, 62.

In Takoma Park, with more than 17,000 residents, Mayor Kathy Porter, 53, and City Council members Joy Austin-Lane, 37, Roland James Dawes, 75, and Marc Elrich, 54, are unopposed. Six candidates are trying to win three council seats.

Seeking election in Ward 2 are: Heather R. Mizeur, 30, and Juan L. Torres, 50; in Ward 3 are incumbent Bruce R. Williams, 54, and Dan Robinson, 52; and in Ward 6, Doug Barry, 52, and Milton Johnson, 39.

The only other municipal election in Prince George’s County, besides College Park, is in Greenbelt, which says it needs street repairs and more police officers.

Greenbelt voters will choose from seven candidates for five City Council positions. The candidate receiving the most votes will be mayor. Mayor Judith F. Davis, Edward V.J. Putens and Rodney M. Roberts are seeking new two-year terms.

Non-incumbents seeking election are James H. Inzeo Sr., Konrad E. Herling, Leta M. Mach and Richard J. Santos.

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