In Prince George’s County, about 10,000 voters received incorrect ballot papers – the result of a printing error, according to the county election board.
In Calvert County, a code error by the supplier, Washington Post Digital Print Solutions – a small commercial publishing house owned by The Washington Post – led to about 20,000 registered voters receiving sample information about ballots for the wrong party, according to local election officials.
“The programming error was quickly corrected and new test slips were distributed within 48 hours,” said Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti. Electoral officials in Calvert County said the correct ballots were sent to voters and that the error did not affect the actual ballots.
Maryland’s 2022 primary: How to vote, candidates and more
And in Queen Anne’s County, registered voters received a Republican test vote regardless of their party identification, according to state officials.
Although ballot questions have surfaced across the state as voters prepare to run for governor, justice minister, Congress and other races, state and local election officials offered assurances that the issues will be resolved and will not affect election results.
“All of the issues that have been identified have all been resolved and are being addressed,” Maryland Deputy Election Administrator Nikki Charlson said in an interview. In cases where errors occurred, she said, vendors or state and local election officials have notified voters of the error and told them how to proceed. She also noted that local boards elect their own suppliers to print and send sample ballot papers, while the state election board certifies and selects suppliers to print actual ballot papers.
“Elections are lots of moving parts, and there are always some minor things happening in an election,” Charlson said. “The added complexity of this election was the redistribution process that took place almost simultaneously with pre-election activities.”
In March, Maryland Court of Appeals pushed back the state’s primary election day from June 28 to July 19, when state Republicans challenged a redesigned congressional card passed by Democrats in December, claiming it was illegally manipulated. It succeeded, and a new congress card was approved in April.
There are approximately 4.1 million registered voters in Maryland, including approximately 2.2 million Democrats and just under one million Republicans. However, turnout in primary elections is expected to be low. In the 2018 primary, which, like 2022, had no presidential election, approximately 600,000 Marylanders voted, according to the Maryland Board of Elections.
A significant change from 2018 is the number of voters expected to vote by mail. In the 2018 primary election, about 30,000 people voted by letter. So far this year, statistics provided by the state board show that about 500,000 voters have requested postal ballots, though it is unclear whether so many will actually vote by mail. A large number of postal votes may delay the election result. By law, ballot papers can only be counted on the Thursday after the election.
Taylor, the Minnesota-based firm that has contracted to print Maryland’s ballot papers, mistakenly sent another post-in ballot to 791 Montgomery County voters who had already received one, said Montgomery County Acting Chief Electoral Officer Alysoun McLaughlin. The State Election Board informed affected voters per. mail on July 1st.
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Voters who received another ballot paper should destroy the second ballot paper if they have already voted by mail, according to the state election board. If they do not have, they can vote with both ballots and destroy the other.
McLaughlin said the Montgomery County Electoral Board did not issue a statement of error because it was a “routine matter” that would not affect the exact counting of votes.
“It’s routine for us to issue another ballot to a voter,” McLaughlin said. “There is a unique [tracking] number attached to each voter, so that we ensure that only one of these ballot papers is counted. “
The Prince George’s County Electoral Board announced its ballot paper issuance on June 21, confirmed that ballot papers were not affected, and promised to resubmit correct ballot papers.