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State review finds ‘significant’ irregularities in Baltimore election

May 20th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

About 1,000 more votes were cast during Baltimore's primary election than there were voters who checked in at the polls, an ongoing state review has found.

State elections officials said Thursday that workers examining Baltimore's election have uncovered "significant" problems. They have found more than 450 provisional ballots that were not considered by election judges. And nearly 800 provisional ballots — given to voters whose eligibility is in question — were improperly counted before eligibility was verified, officials said.

Most of the problems were caused by untrained judges scanning ballots into the system that they shouldn't have, said Linda H. Lamone, Maryland's elections administrator. The state might not get to the bottom of every problem, she told the State Board of Elections.

"There will be precincts that cannot be explained," Lamone said. "We don't know what happened. The numbers simply don't match."

State officials ordered Baltimore's election results decertified last week amid concerns about voting irregularities. For several days, election workers from across the region have conducted a precinct-level review of the city's primary.

"The situation is still fluid," Lamone said. "As of [Thursday] morning, we were still finding documents."

She said she did not know how much longer the review would take.

Lamone sought the review when city officials — who had certified their election results last week — later reported they had found 80 provisional ballots that had not been analyzed. The state's review has found a total of 457 such ballots, she said Thursday.

Lamone said she suspected that many of those provisional ballots would be disqualified, but they needed to be evaluated anyway.

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