On June 26, Maryland officials counted votes and released results on primary election winners, but the election is far from over: just over 1 percent of all votes cast have yet to be counted. Due to a glitch in the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) online and kiosk systems, more than 80,000 Marylanders had to cast provisional ballots because the system didn’t update their voter information changes in time for the primary on June 26. One of those voters was Erin Bowman. A Baltimore resident, Erin went to the First English Lutheran Church in Guilford, Maryland, (which was in her congressional district) to vote in the primary. Since first registering to vote over a decade ago, Erin has never missed an election, and has always done her research on ballot questions and candidates, so she went to her polling station well-prepared. Upon arriving, Erin was told by a polling staffer that because of her recent move to the area, she had to vote on a provisional ballot.
Despite promises by Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s office that “every voter will be able to vote, and every vote will be counted.” Erin was discouraged by the requirement. And it’s likely many other voters whose votes were not guaranteed, and may not be confirmed for at least another week had similar reactions.
This snafu comes on the coattails of the Supreme Court’s decision in Benisek v. Lamone—a ruling which was “not surprising, but discouraging”, says Damon Effingham, the acting director of Common Cause Maryland. The Benisek decision is just oneof four cases in the past two weeks where the high court avoided decisions on partisan gerrymandering. Gerrymandering, at its core, is one vehicle for voter disenfranchisement—contorting districts and stripping power away from an individual voters ballot by “packing” and “cracking” certain types of voters into certain districts.
Full Article: Maryland’s Big Primary Election Snafu.