Pursuant to Section 502(c) of the Takoma Park Charter, the Council of the City of Takoma Park will hold a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Charter titled “Voting and Elections.” The proposed Charter amendment: (1) adjusts qualifications for voting; (2) sets a minimum age for serving as Mayor or Councilmember; (3) lowers the voting age to 16; (4) reduces the residency requirement to 21 days before being qualified to vote in City elections; (5) provides for early voting and revises the requirements for provisional voting; and (6) allows for same day voter registration (including change of address).
Takoma Park Community Center
7500 Maple Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912 (DIRECTIONS)
Date and Time:
Monday, April 8, 2013
All interested persons should attend the public hearing. Written comments may be submitted to the City Clerk, 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912; or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Draft Charter Amendment Resolution (a revised version of the amendment will be posted on Thursday, April 4, 2013)
The next City election is less than a year away (November 5, 2013). Over the past few months, the City Council has been discussing ways to increase participation in City elections. On April 8, the City Council will hold a public hearing and then consider and vote on a charter amendment that would lower the voting age to 16 and allow residents to register and vote on the same day.
Other amendments to the Charter related to elections are under consideration as well. These include allowing for early voting and clarifying that it would be available for each election; allowing felons who have completed their time of incarceration to register with the City Clerk and vote; establishing a minimum age for members of the Council and the Mayor; and reducing the voter registration deadline from 30 days to 21 days.
The schedule for the charter amendment is as follows: April 8, public hearing; April 15, first reading of the charter amendment resolution; April 22, second reading of the charter amendment resolution. The final amendment becomes effective on the 50th day after adoption unless petitioned to referendum by the voters of the City before the 40th day after adoption.
Other election initiatives have been brought forward by members of the Council. The first is creation of a voting task force that would review voting laws and policies and make recommendations to the Council related to voting rights, increasing registration and participation, and conducting outreach to communities less well represented on election day. Another initiative is adoption of a right to vote resolution as a statement of Council policy.