Florida Maryland is not. But concerned that the state could be ripe for the same kinds of election problems that occurred in the sunshine state during the 2000 presidential election, the Anne Arundel County chapter of the NAACP announced this week it will be monitoring the polls on Election Day.
"We know what happened in Florida in the 2000 presidential election, when literally thousands of African Americans were disenfranchised," said Gerald Stansbury, the chapter's president. "We will not have that happen in Anne Arundel County."
The nonpartisan organization will also post signs urging people to vote on Tuesday. Stansbury said in a release that it would team up with the American Civil Liberties Union in providing free legal services to people who believe they have been illegally denied the right to vote.
Over the summer, the organization led a voter registration drive.
"Our right to vote was paid for by the martyrdoms of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and countless others," Stansbury said. "We refuse to allow their deaths to be in vain. We join with the Reverend Jesse Jackson and other civil rights activists in saying that 'hands that once picked cotton can now elect a president.' "
Limited Flu Shots Available
With the nation facing a severe shortage of flu vaccines, the Anne Arundel County Department of Health is holding four clinics for the county's most vulnerable residents.
The first two clinics are for those 65 and older, pregnant women and residents between the ages of 13 and 64 who have chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems, including heart disease, lung disease, severe asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, sickle cell anemia, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
The clinics for those eligible are slated from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Annapolis High School, 2700 Riva Rd., Annapolis, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 6 at Old Mill High School, 600 Patriot Lane, Millersville.
The department is holding two other clinics for babies 6 months to 23 months, and for children 2 to 12 who have chronic health problems or weakened immune systems.
"Parents are advised to check first to see if the vaccine is available from their child's pediatrician," the department said in a statement. The statement also said that children younger than 6 months should not get the vaccine.
The clinics for those eligible children are scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at the Health Services Building, 3 Harry S. Truman Pkwy., Annapolis, and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 4 at the same location.
Proof of residency may be required. For more information, call 410-222-7343.