BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Months after a messy Baltimore’s primary election a judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought a “redo.”
Baltimore City’s primary election on April 26, 2016 was anything but smooth. Hundreds of election judges were a no show, a new ballot system crumbled and miscounted ballots were just some of the problems voters faced.
“Something is fundamentally wrong,” said Donald Glover, with Voters Organized for the Integrity of City Elections (V.O.I.C.E.).
April’s fiasco ended with the state de-certifying the results and prompted a federal lawsuit from Hassan Giordano and V.O.I.C.E.
“If they can’t get it right then, it’s hard to imagine them getting it right with twice as many as voters,” said Giordano.
Months later, the lawsuit has been dismissed because a judge says the group waited too long to file the complaint.
“The thing is you don’t take defeat lying down, you get up and fight again,” said J. Wyndal Gordon.
V.O.I.C.E. now plans to station monitors at the polls in November.
“We’re trying to make sure we have the resources…and make sure this election doesn’t turn out like April’s election,” Giordano said
The Director of Baltimore City’s Board of Elections, Armstead Jones, says he’s gratified by the judge’s decision and has been focused on controlling what he can for Election Day.
Jones says they’ve already added more training for election judges and have recruited hundreds more than the primary.
“I can’t control people coming, said Jones. “Election judges, I can recruit them, we send out a reminder for them to come.”
Even with the changes, V.O.I.C.E. wonders if it will be enough to get first time voters out to the polls.
“How do we tell first time voters in this upcoming general, ‘hey don’t worry about it, get out there and vote again?’” said Glover.
Armstead says they’ve recruited 3,500 election judges, roughly 3,000 are now trained and that even if there are no shows they should be well staffed for November.
Sheila Dixon–who recently decided to run as a write-in candidate for Baltimore mayor–says she’s upset by the judge’s decision to dismiss the case, saying in a statement, “I pray that the state and city board of elections has a better plan in place for the general election.”