State officials said Wednesday their review of Baltimore’s primary election was nearing an end, as they continued to investigate why votes outnumbered check-ins at the polls. Nikki Baines Charlson, deputy administrator at the State Board of Elections, said she expected workers to finish the review Thursday. Officials have focused on 60 precincts — about a fifth of the city’s 296 — where irregularities were “significantly” greater than in other Maryland jurisdictions. “There are probably only 20 precincts left that haven’t been reviewed at all,” Charlson said Wednesday. “We will have looked at 100 percent of the precincts by tomorrow.” Charlson said officials planned to present their preliminary findings at a meeting Thursday of the State Board of Elections.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that the irregularities, which led the state board to decertify the results last week, underscored the need for better oversight by Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration. “I hope they do a thorough assessment of the Board of Elections and make recommendations for changes so something like this doesn’t happen again,” said Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat. A spokesman for Hogan, a Republican, said he did not understand the mayor’s comments.
Spokesman Matthew A. Clark said Hogan raised concerns over the winter “about the state’s preparedness for the election” as it moved from touch-screen voting to paper ballots, but those concerns were dismissed by elections officials.