Baltimore could become part of a growing movement that would offer more voters a chance to participate in its Democratic primaries and a new way to determine the winners. The Maryland General Assembly will consider a bill to allow the Baltimore City Council to establish open primary elections, as well as “ranked choice” voting for primary or general elections. Del. Brooke Lierman, a Democrat who represents southeast Baltimore, prefiled the legislation ahead of Wednesday’s start of the 90-day General Assembly session. It would authorize the Baltimore City Council to adopt such voting systems, if a majority of council members want to. “If we had ranked choice voting everywhere, our democracy would look so much better,” Lierman says.
… The resolution — sponsored by Councilmen Bill Henry and Brandon Scott — sought to open up the Democratic primary in Baltimore to independent voters as well as voters registered as Republicans, Libertarians, Green Party members and others. Seventy-nine percent of Baltimore’s voters are registered as Democrats. The second-largest group of registered voters are unaffiliated, at 12 percent.
“It authorizes us to make the decision at the local level,” Henry said. “We can have the hearings. We can solicit the opinions of the citizens and we can go from there.”