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Blog COVID-19 in Maryland Government & Politics

State Bd. of Elections, Legislative Panels, to Review Primary Highs and Lows

With Maryland’s June 2 primary under intense scrutiny from a slew of state officials, the Maryland State Board of Elections will meet this Thursday to review the election.

State Board of Elections Vice Chairman Patrick J. Hogan said reviewing an election isn’t out of the ordinary, and that the 2 p.m. meeting was “the soonest we could do it after all the canvassing was done.”

The earlier-than-usual meeting comes amid calls for an investigation into Maryland’s June 2 election. The state’s first largely mail-in primary election saw high voter turnout – but was also rife with glitches and mishaps.

Top elections officials are also set to answer to state legislators in a House-Senate joint-committee meeting on Tuesday, during which lawmakers will conduct a “review of implementation and processes” for the primary.

Late or missing ballots, misprints and long lines at in-person voting centers are among the many complaints that arose from the primary. Elections officials scrambled to adopt an unprecedented election system after the primary election was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One official in particular has come under fire for how she handled the election: Linda H. Lamone, Maryland’s long-tenured top elections administrator. Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford (R) and Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) lambasted Lamone for election errors in a Board of Public Works Meeting earlier this month, demanding her retirement.

Lamone blamed a printing vendor, SeaChange, for election misprints and delayed ballot deliveries. Hogan previously said that the State Board of Elections would likely replace the vendor. SeaChange blamed elections officials for the delayed ballots.

Hogan previously stopped short of saying the board would fire Lamone, and instead said board members “need to get all the answers before we make that determination.” Even if the entire State Board of Elections unanimously voted to oust Lamone, however, a 2005 law would allow her to continue serving until Maryland’s Senate approves her replacement.

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