About 1,500 people with misdemeanor convictions were mistakenly dropped from Maryland’s voter rolls over the past five years, state judiciary officials confirmed Friday. A computer system incorrectly lumped those voters in with felons, who are stripped of their right to vote until their sentence is completed, said Terri Bolling, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Judiciary. People convicted of misdemeanors retain their right to vote in Maryland. Officials said they are fixing the error, discovered in part by former Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold. Leopold was convicted in January of two counts of misconduct in office — a common-law misdemeanor — for directing his staff and police officers to carry out personal and political tasks, including emptying his catheter bag. He resigned from office and has appealed the convictions.
In June, Leopold received a letter from Anne Arundel elections officials notifying him that his voter registration was going to be canceled.
As Leopold worked to have his voter registration reinstated, he learned that he may not be the only voter affected.
Every month, state judiciary officials send a list of new felons to elections officials, who remove the convicts from their rolls.
Bolling said officials are still working to determine how the error happened. “The judiciary and the Board of Elections are working together to fix the process,” Bolling said.