BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Elections officials will be poring through Baltimore City’s ballots to find out why they don’t add up. The State Board of Elections has refused to accept the city’s primary results until an audit is complete.
Political reporter Pat Warren has the latest information.
These past two days have just been the getting started phase. Keep in mind that this type of discrepancy happens in every election—but not to the degree that requires an intervention.
More voters went in than ballots came out.
“The state board has asked us to review the documents and that’s what we are doing,” said Baltimore City Elections Director Armistead Jones.
The state elections board made the unusual decision not to accept the city’s results until it investigates unusually high numbers of voters who checked in to vote but didn’t cast ballots.
“We haven’t had this kind of issue come up in recent years,” said Linda Lamone.
And the review adds fuel to watchdog complaints of irregularities.
“This is a process that stinks to high heaven, that the integrity of this election will not be upheld and that the results that we’ve seen two weeks ago on Tuesday need to be questioned or thrown out,” said Hassan Giordano, part of the voter group VOICE.
The city elections director remains positive.
“We are confident that once it’s done, all the paperwork is put on the table, that we will be fine,” Jones said.
But do voters share that confidence? UMBC public policy director Don Norris tells WJZ this makes the city board look bad.
“If I were a voter in Baltimore City, my confidence level would not be terribly high now and it certainly wouldn’t be a whole lot higher for the general election unless I saw clear evidence that the election board was cleaning up its act,” Norris said.
Keep in mind the review is in the organizational phase. The real work starts on Monday. This is a review of the paperwork and not a recount—although you can’t rule that out, either.
The review is expected to be completed next week.