BALTIMORE (WJZ) — State lawmakers want to prevent the confusion in the Baltimore City primary from repeating in the general election.
A Senate committee has questioned the city and state election’s administrators.READ MORE: Investigation Underway Following Fatal Car Fire In Baltimore City
WJZ’s Pat Warren reports that one of the highest voter turnouts in recent elections combined with other elements is what raises concerns for some about November’s general.
There were 133,000 voters, 300 election judges who didn’t show up, a new ballot system and ballots that should have been set aside were wrongly counted.
“What I found out is there were five more jurisdictions that had the same problem as we did,” says Senator Joan Carter Conway, Senate Committee Chair.
The problem was counting the ballots given to people whose eligibility needed to be verified first. But the extent of Baltimore’s provisional ballot errors required a state review. Conway called her committee to order to dig into those issues.
“I was merely trying to figure out, number one, what happened, number two, how do we correct those flaws or human error and that’s basically predominantly what it was, it was human error more than the technology.”
Another consideration is the number of precincts — 296 — requires so many people to operate that it may be time to consolidate.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 700 New Cases & 10 Deaths Reported Sunday
City elections administrator Armstead Jones says there’s not enough time to consolidate before the general election, and is looking at more and better trained judges.
But reducing the number of precincts is not off the table.
“They’d have to send new voter cards telling you where your new precinct is and all of that and I think he’s probably saying that based on the resources he has to do it,” Conway says.
While it’s not practical, it’s also not impossible.
Regardless, both the city and state election boards promise better training for election judges.
Meanwhile, an election watchdog group has filed a lawsuit asking the court to require a new city primary election.MORE NEWS: Walk To End Alzheimer's Saturday In Cockeysville Aims to Raise Awareness