Election Highlights Major Electoral System Flaws in Maryland
Adapting to the coronavirus stay at home orders, electoral powerhouse CASA in Action turned out victories for endorsed candidates in its Baltimore City primaries electoral campaign. Victories include Odette Ramos, the first Latina elected official in Baltimore City.
The CASA in Action electoral plan was aimed at voter persuasion and mobilization for Baltimore City council districts 1, 3, 8, 9, 10, and 14. CASA in Action engaged with low propensity voters, including people of color, working-class, and Spanish dominant Baltimoreans, through more than 63,000 calls and 10,000 texts as well as digital ads reaching over 60,000.
“We celebrate these victories of candidates committed to championing policies that dramatically improve the quality of life for CASA members in working-class Black and Brown Baltimore communities,” said Lydia Walther-Rodriguez, CASA in Action Baltimore and Central Maryland Director. “We are eager to work with our returning councilmembers like Zeke Cohen, Ryan Dorsey, Kris Burnett, and John Bullock, and celebrate two powerful women, Phylicia Porter and Odette Ramos who not only bring historic diversity to their districts but are fierce voices ready to fight for our Latinx and Black families.”
Turnout was high especially considering the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus pandemic. However, this election highlighted once again the flaws within the election system. Voters shared with CASA in Action multiple problems – receiving the wrong ballot in the mail, delays in sending out mailed ballots, and confusion at voting centers were the top issues voters faced.
“There already exists a mistrust of the government within communities of color and immigrants in Baltimore City,” said William Renderos, MSW, CASA in Action Civic Engagement and Electoral Data Manager. “The problems with this election feed into this narrative and discourage voters, especially the low propensity voters that CASA in Action works with, from showing up again in the future. Without groups like CASA in Action demanding accountability and guidance, voters of color face continuing disenfranchisement.”
CASA in Action endorsed candidates who won:
- Zeke Cohen, District 1 (projected to win)
- Ryan Dorsey, District 3
- Kris Burnett, District 8
- John Bullock, District 9
- Phylicia Porter, District 10
- Odette Ramos, District 14, the first Latina elected to any Baltimore City office