ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A technology glitch could make extra work for 80,000 Maryland voters this election day.
If you registered a change of address or party, and didn’t receive a new voters card, you could be one of thousands of people who can still vote, but will have use a provisional ballot on Tuesday.
They’ll have to cast provisional ballots after a computer failed to register new addresses or party affiliation changes.
Secretary Pete K. Rahn on released the following statement:
“The MDOT Auditor will immediately begin a review of MDOT MVA’s Information Technology systems and management controls. The public relies on us to follow through on our customer service commitments, and MDOT MVA clearly fell short in this case. While all Marylanders, who are eligible to vote in this election, can vote tomorrow, the fact that their information wasn’t updated with the State Board of Elections as it should have been is unacceptable and will be remedied. I apologize to the Marylanders that count on us every day, and I assure all impacted voters that we will work overtime to make this right.”
The state board of elections says a computer error is to blame.
“It’s not all changes of address. It’s a subset of those, and those are the ones we just didn’t get,” said Deputy State Election Administrator Nikki Charlson.
80,000 people who tried to update their voter information while getting a new license were lost in translation between kiosks at the Maryland Vehicle Administration and the state board of elections.
Governor Larry Hogan oversees the MVA.
“For some reason, that glitch, did not send the information between the MVA and the state board of elections,” Hogan said.
The breakdown was red flagged on Friday, when a state employee failed to receive a new voters card and alerted election officials.
“I believe we got the problem solved. We’re going to make sure that every single person can vote,” Hogan added.
For those affected, it may take a few extra minutes at their polling place, but Charlson promises that when it’s time to vote Tuesday, provisional ballots will be waiting.
“In that one process, they’ll be able to update their address, get their correct ballot, and have that ballot counted,” she said.
The board of elections says most of the 80,000 voters got an email notifying them of the error and what steps to take.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story initially said nearly 19,000 were impacted by this glitch, but the MVA has since updated that number to 80,000.