Despite fears of a botched debut of Maryland’s new voting machines, state election officials say they received few reports of glitches and voter confusion in Tuesday’s primary. The election marked Maryland’s long-awaited switch to paper ballots tallied by scanner, nearly a decade after lawmakers decided to ditch electronic machines that leave no paper trail. Late last year, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and his administration raised concerns about election officials’ rushing the new machines into service. They relented when the machine vendor, Election Systems and Software, offered to devote additional staff and resources on a successful rollout.
The Senate primary campaign of Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D) said machine malfunctions caused an hour delay in opening polls at the Beth Am Synagogue in Baltimore. A judge ordered four Baltimore polling places, including Beth Am, to stay open for an extra hour because of the delays.
In all, the Maryland State Board of Elections said that 11 scanners and three machines that fill out ballots for voters who are disabled malfunctioned Tuesday but that they were replaced and did not result in lost votes. That’s out of 4,000 new machines.