Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot on Wednesday grilled the administrator of Maryland’s elections — after problems on Election Day in November caused polls to stay open late and postponed the release of results for hours. The Maryland State Board of Elections did not post election results online on Election Day until after 10 p.m. — two hours after polls were scheduled to close in the state. Hogan said he and many others were frustrated they had had to wait for hours for the results to be announced. “This was a black eye for Maryland around the country,” Franchot told Maryland elections administrator Linda H. Lamone, who appeared before the spending panel. “They were making fun of us on the national television about how bad the Maryland election was being administered,” Hogan said. “You are the Maryland state election administrator.” “Indeed, I am,” replied Lamone, who has served in the role since 1997.
Lamone told the board members polls stayed open late in November because some voters were still casting ballots after waiting in long lines amid high turnout. Lamone said some polling stations in Prince George’s County were short on paper ballots because local elections administrators hadn’t properly distributed ballots. She noted local boards were independent entities from the state.
“You’re going to have to take some responsibility to hold them accountable,” Hogan told her.
“I can tell them what to do all I want to,” Lamone replied. “I have no control.”
The grilling came as the spending panel was hearing testimony on the status of Maryland’s elections data.