Were the irregularities in Baltimore’s primary election numerous enough to affect the outcome of City Council races? It’s a question on a lot of people’s minds. The State Board of Elections reported last week there were 1,188 provisional ballots improperly scanned into the results of Baltimore’s primary election in April — without verification that the voters were registered. That’s too few votes to affect the outcome of the Democratic primary for mayor, where state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh defeated former Mayor Sheila Dixon by more than 2,400 votes. But was it enough to affect a council race, where only hundreds of votes separate competitors? An analysis of election data by The Baltimore Sun shows that — much like the mayor’s race — the potentially invalid votes were too few to affect the outcomes of even down-ballot contests.
… State officials ordered Baltimore’s election results decertified this month amid concerns about voting irregularities. For several days, election workers from across the region conducted a precinct-level review of the city’s primary — focusing on why there were about 1,000 more ballots cast than there were voters who checked into the polls on Election Day.
Officials concluded the problem involved provisional ballots — ballots given to people who show up to vote but whose names are not on the registered voters list for the primary election at that precinct. Those ballots are supposed to be set aside so officials can determine later if the voter was eligible. State officials believe that in some cases, those ballots were not set aside, but were scanned into the total.