ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Doug Gansler and his running mate, Del. Jolene Ivey, officially filed the paperwork Thursday in their bid for the statehouse.
"We chose to make our campaign official today because on this date 50 years ago the United States abolished the poll tax," said Gansler in a statement. "Today's anniversary reminds us of our nation's struggle to secure voting rights for all and fulfill the promise of democracy. I can think of no more fitting a day to officially file our candidacy," he added.
Gansler and Ivey said they also used the opportunity to announce a proposal to expand early voting to include opening the polls on the Saturday before Election Day.
"The success of our democracy hinges on voting, but the United States ranks dead last in voter turnout among G8 nations. For too many Marylanders, work, child care and transportation are obstacles to exercising this basic right. That's why Jolene and I are proposing to expand early voting to open all polls on the Saturday before Election Day," said Gansler.
Among those who support the measure is Del. Keiffer Mitchell, calling the proposal "sorely needed." He cited the fact that only 12 percent of registered Baltimore City voters turned out for the 2011 Baltimore mayoral primary.
"Anything that makes it easier for our citizens to get to the polls is good for the state of Maryland," said Mitchell in a statement.