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Ballots counted, city election recertified

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Posted at 12:33 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 18:32:49-04

After counting 555 more provisional ballots Wednesday morning, Baltimore’s 2016 primary election was finally certified by the state.

There was more red ink spilled over the last crop of provisional ballots than votes recorded.

RELATED: City hopes to recertify election; voters, advocates want answers

A total of 386 provisional ballots were rejected, while 169 were accepted. Of these ballots, 77 votes went to former mayor Sheila Dixon and 37 votes were placed for Catherine Pugh. The results won’t change the outcome of any city elections.

"Well just at a quick glance I don’t see any... no changes," said Baltimore Election Director Armistead Jones.

The review was ordered after Maryland election officials found more than 1,650 ballots were handled improperly.

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The state board of elections was on hand for the count as well, taking the opportunity to learn from April before November.

"Through this process we've identified a few other things that we would like to sit down with the Baltimore City Board of Elections once the election is certified and see whether there are process improvements that can be made from the general," Deputy Administrator with the Maryland Board of Elections Nikki Charlson.

High voter turnout, a new paper ballot system and a lack of election judges may have gummed up the works a bit on April 26th. The provisional process needs to be smoother too, election officials said.

While the most popular reason for provisional ballots are rejected in a primary because people try to vote in a party election in which they are not registered, they are also used for same day registration voters.

"The provisional process showed a little bit of needing more attention, so we will be looking at the flow of that in each polling place and looking to see if there are ways to make the ballot more identifiable or prevent it from being scanned," Charlson said.

Follow Brian Kuebler on Twitter @BrianfromABC2.