BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The State Board of Elections continues to update its investigation into voter irregularities and fraud in the Baltimore City primary election. All the concerns forced the board to refuse to accept the results of the election.
Political reporter Pat Warren has more on what they found, and what’s next.
The “who” and the “how” are becoming pretty clear.
“The pattern that we saw clearly was that the provisional ballots were scanned in the polling place instead of being held with the applications,” said Linda Lamone, state elections administrator.
In some cases, every single provisional ballot that should have been set aside was scanned.
Not all discrepancies in the vote count have the same issue.
“There will be precincts that cannot be explained. We don’t know what happened. The numbers simply don’t match,” said Lamone.
For days, a team of election canvassers pulled from the state, city and surrounding counties compared the number of voters who checked in at Baltimore polling places to the number of votes cast, trying to find out why they ended up with more ballots than voters.
This state-mandated review added to a list of complaints about voter irregularities in the city’s April primary.
Election watchdogs cited late openings at polling places, a rush to train election judges, voters who were turned away or otherwise misdirected and data files of results that went missing for a day.
The State Board of Elections added questions about the provisional ballot count to the list.
“The process could have been a lot cleaner, a lot smoother, a lot better managed,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
There’s concern whatever damage done to voter confidence won’t be easy to repair.
“The situation is still fluid, because as of this morning, we were still finding documents,” said Lamone.
But a conclusion has been reached — the city needs to re-evaluate its election worker training.
The state hopes to have the city results certified next week.
Once the city’s votes are certified, the clock will start for anyone who wants to challenge the results.