In 1986 the Maryland State Constitution was amended after 10 men from the North Dorchester area fought to bring local voting reform from an at large system to a district voting system. The previous voting system discriminated against minorities by favoring those living in the densely populated areas, the majority.
To honor and promote the birthplace of Maryland voter reform, a reception was held in Hurlock, Maryland. Welcome remarks and a brief history was given by Dr. Carl Barham. Delegate Chris Adams and Senator Addie Eckardt presented citations to the 10 men who were responsible for the political reform. Dr. Carl Bahram, promoter of the Historical Freedom Shrine said, “The works of ten bold brave men should not be minimized nor go in vain, because their passion and vigilance changed the political landscape of Dorchester County.”
The North Dorchester Democratic Club formed twenty-five years ago and challenged the injustices in the voting process. Their court case went all the way to the federal court where they won and voting reform was implemented.
The Historical Freedom Shrine Monument was erected on November 10, 1987 in Hurlock to commemorate the ten local men who were instrumental in bringing local and statewide voting reform. The ten men who brought statewide reform are George Jones, Charles Hurley, Don Bradley, Richard Harding, Oliver Harding, William Reid, Edward Conway, William Corkran, Leon Medford and Gregory Meekins. To learn more please visit http://www.dorchesterhistory.com/freedom-shrine/.