British writer Aldous Huxley once observed that the only “completely consistent” people were dead. If so, then the majority of Maryland’s highest court can be congratulated for producing incontrovertible evidence that they are still very much alive and breathing.
In a 5-2 decision released on Tuesday, the Court of Appeals ruled that just because a person’s signature on a petition for referendum is so sloppy that it is impossible for someone else to read doesn’t mean that signature should not be counted.
By itself, that’s a perfectly reasonable ruling and came out of a successful effort to thwart hefty ambulance fees in Montgomery County. It seems to us that as long as elections officials can verify that a signer meets the basic obligations of a legal petition (principally that he or she is a registered voter) that signature ought to be allowed. [continued…]