Dundalk voters overwhelmingly opposed Dream Act
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 12:07

Said ‘no’ to gay marriage, ‘yes’ to gambling

by Bill Gates

    The Dream Act may have passed by a wide margin in last week’s election, but it wasn’t by any help from Dundalk voters.
    The bill, which will allow illegal immigrants to attend Maryland public colleges at in-state tuition rates after meeting certain qualifications, was approved by 58 percent of the voters in the statewide referendum.
    In Dundalk, however, 62 percent of voters were against giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
    Dundalk voters opposed the referendum by 13,047 to 7,731.

The Essex precincts in the 6th Legislative District also voted against the referendum, 7,154 to 5,226.
    After adding in early voting results, voters in the 6th District opposed the Dream Act by a count of 24,042 to 15,821.
    That was not enough to sway Baltimore County. The county as a whole approved the Dream Act by a margin of 180,766 to 164,392.
    Statewide, the Dream Act passed 1,450,369 to 1,032,153.
    The referendum received a majority of the vote in one Dundalk precinct. The Fleming Center passed it, 569 to 216.
    “It was fairly close in Baltimore County, with eastside voters overwhelmingly against it,” said Del. John Olszewski Jr. (6th District), the chairman of the Baltimore County House delegation.
    Olszewski, along with fellow 6th District delegates Joseph “Sonny” Minnick and Michael Weir Jr., and Sen. Norman R. Stone, opposed the Dream Act when it passed the General Assembly during the 2011 session (and was subsequently petitioned into a referendum).
    “The numbers in Montgomery, Prince George’s counties were equally lopsided in favor of [the Dream Act],” Olszewski said. “Teachers in the state, as well as members of the faith community, were out supporting the Dream Act and that also helped it.
    “That said, I was surprised to see the statewide totals were what they were. This was the one [referendum] question I thought wouldn’t survive the ballot.”
    Dundalk voters also mostly opposed referendum Question 6, the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which will legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland.
    The referendum passed with 52 percent of the statewide vote, 1,033,005 to 968,730.
    Sixty-one percent of Dundalk voters opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, 10,266 to 6,547.
    The voters in two precincts approved the referendum: the Dundalk Middle School lobby (532-440) and the Dundalk Middle School cafeteria (689-637).
    Olszewski, one of the key swing votes who helped the same-sex marriage bill pass the General Assembly this year, said “The people have had a chance to speak on the issue. It was a close call, but people rendered their judgment on it.”
    Olszewski stressed that the bill contains clauses protecting religious institutions from being forced to host marriage ceremonies and receptions that are counter to their beliefs.
    “Our bill has the strongest protections for communities of faith [of any similar law] in the country,” he said.
    Like statewide voters, Dundalk voters approved expanding state gambling to include table games and adding another casino.
    Referendum Question 7 was approved by a narrow margin, 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent (1,315,555 to 1,225,250).
    In Dundalk, voters approved the referendum by a similarly narrow margin of 11,729 (53 percent) to 10,266 (47 percent).
    Despite the closeness of the vote, the referendum question passed in every Dundalk precinct.
    Including early voters and the Essex precincts, the 6th District approved expanded gambling by a vote of 21,604 to 19,818.
    In the presidential election, Dundalk voters went for Republican candidate Mitt Romney over Democratic incumbent Barack Obama by 10,896 to 9,917.
    Voters in the Fleming Center supported President Obama by a 833-15 margin over Romney.
    President Obama narrowly won the 6th District, beating Romney 20,078 to 20,018.
    In the congressional races, incumbent U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin defeated Republican challenger Daniel Bongino and independent Rob Sobhani.
    The two challengers did total more combined votes than Cardin, who received 8,725 votes in Dundalk.
    Sobhani received 6,553 votes, while Bongino had 5,480 (totals do not include early voting).
    Incumbent U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger trounced his Republican challenger, state Sen. Nancy Jacobs, in the 2nd District race with 65 percent of the vote, but the margin was much closer in Dundalk.
    Ruppersberger held off Jacobs by a count of 7,286 to 6,529 in the Dundalk voting precincts.