Polling places in Baltimore failed to open on time. Election workers were unfamiliar with procedures, and ballot mix-ups put the outcome of contests in question. The year was 1970. The historic election that sent Maryland’s first African-American congressman, Parren J. Mitchell, to Washington was fraught with problems — problems strikingly similar to the irregularities revealed in the weeks since the city’s April 26 primary this year. A half-century ago, the botched primary led to the deployment of police to supervise the general election, an unprecedented decision to order a second round of voting in eight precincts and a congressional investigation.
It is unclear what might come of this year’s primary after the Maryland State Board of Elections decertified the results Thursday and began combing through the data from each of the city’s nearly 300 precincts.
Former Mayor Sheila Dixon has conceded the Democratic nomination for mayor to state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh. She said this week she would not seek a recount, despite continuing challenges by activists over alleged problems.