A Maryland Senate panel will hold a hearing next month into a Motor Vehicle Administration computer error that has resulted in about 18,761 people not being properly registered to vote in this week’s primary, a state senator said Sunday. State transportation and elections officials say no eligible voters will be denied the right to vote, though affected voters need to verify their voter registration information using the state elections board website, so they can use provisional ballots on Tuesday. Sen. Joan Carter Conway said the Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee will hold the hearing “to hold (Gov. Larry Hogan’s) team accountable for this mess, and to ensure it will not occur again on the eve of the general election.”
“It is an action by the Hogan administration which will confuse voters, suppress turnout, and disenfranchise thousands of Marylanders,” Conway, a Baltimore Democrat who chairs the committee, said. “Even worse, it may impact the outcome of close races up and down the ballot.”
Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for the Republican governor, said the problem was caused by a computer glitch discovered on Friday.
“The Hogan administration takes the right to vote extremely seriously and no Maryland voter will be denied the franchise,” Chasse said. “Despite the Senator’s accusations, this was a computer programming error and nothing more. The State Board of Elections and the MVA have been straightforward and transparent about how this error occurred and what is being done to remedy it, so the Senator is either unaware of the facts or is choosing to ignore them for political purposes.”