Board of Estimates approves $130,000 for training election judges

Posted at 12:06 AM, Sep 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-15 06:46:19-04
The Board of Estimates voted Wednesday to give the Baltimore City Elections Board $130,000 to better train election judges. 
The city's elections director says that money will go a long way toward making sure there are no issues come election day.
The primary election was wrought with problems, causing the results to ultimately be de-certified and then certified again. The results are being challenged in federal court, but the elections director said he's optimistic about the future.
"The primary, we were short judges at about every precinct around the city," Armstead Jones said. 
Wednesday evening, nearly 100 people crowded into a room at the University of Baltimore hoping to become judges ahead of the November election, an ongoing recruitment effort Jones admits is a direct result of problems exposed by the April primary.

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During the primary a number of precincts opened late and about 1,500 provisional ballots were mishandled.
Wednesday, judges were given special instructions on how to handle such ballots while Jones said the delays were due to a shortage of judges who didn't show up on the day of the primary.
"We will put additional judges at precincts where if folks don't show up in those precincts, there still should be enough there to cover the precincts," Jones said.
Immediately following the vote by the Board of Estimates, mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake applauded the elections board for reaching out for city funding to help eliminate any issues during the future.
"I hope they get it right this time," Rawlings-Blake said. "It was very clear that there were mistakes made ... It's clear that they're making efforts to get it right because of the request for funding to do this training."
Jones said voters can be assured things will run smoothly come November. He said he hopes to recruit close to 3,500 judges.

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