Empower Montgomery yesterday. The non-profit, tax-exempt organization has been formed by several heavy hitters from the Montgomery County business community with the stated goal of increasing voter engagement.
Montgomery County's voter turnout in the 2014 election was the lowest in the state of Maryland. Contrary to claims by term limits opponents that such laws result in lower turnout, we in fact had less turnout than the counties that currently have term limits.
Empower Montgomery aims to change this race to the bottom, they say, by pushing for open primaries that allow independents to vote for state and local office nominating contests, easing voter restrictions, expanding early and absentee voting, and engaging communities with low rates of voter participation. They say they will primarily promote public education and advocacy activities, but will also act on major issues at election time.
Who's behind Empower Montgomery? Charles Nulsen III, the president of Washington Property Company; Chris Bruch, president and COO of The Donohoe Companies; David Blair; and former County Council member and lobbyist Steve Silverman.