Maryland elections officials have uncovered nearly 800 improperly counted ballots from Baltimore residents who may not have been eligible to vote, calling into question how poll workers were trained for a new voting system in the April 26 primary. The discovery of hundreds more ballots cast than voters who checked into Baltimore polling sites led to the decertification of that city’s election results. On Thursday, the State Board of Elections discussed the ongoing investigation into the irregularities and how things went wrong. Election judges had apparently scanned ballots cast by people who did not appear on voter rolls, Elections Administrator Linda Lamone told the five-member board. Those ballots were not supposed to be counted until officials verified that the voter was authorized to vote. “This was a training issue introducing a brand-new voting system in Maryland,” Lamone said. “There is no evidence of voter fraud.” Some discrepancies in voters and votes in Baltimore could not be explained, she said. “The numbers simply don’t match,” Lamone said.
There is no way to remove improperly counted ballots from vote margins because they cannot be linked to the voter who cast them. Baltimore is expected to re-certify its results next week after reviewing nearly 450 uncounted provisional ballots.
The number of suspect votes is not enough to change the results of the Democratic mayoral primary in Baltimore, where state Senate Majority Leader Catherine Pugh (D-Baltimore) leads by more than 2,000 votes.