Some Citizens Report Getting Marked Ballots At Polling Places

State officials say these were ‘sporadic’ incidents.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Maryland’s elections administrator says officials received sporadic reports of voters around the state receiving ballots that have already been marked.

That happened to a Mount Airy woman who went to vote at Kemptown Elementary School on Tuesday. Deanna Mills said when she received her ballot, she marked the front side. Then she turned it over, and found scribbles near Board of Education candidate Joy Schaefer’s name, as well as near the Charter amendment questions. Mills says she was surprised. “I hope that it was kind of random thing, and that there was some reasonable explanation for it. But I’m not reasonably sure,” she said.

Mills said she returned the ballot to a poll worker, who gave her a new one. The old one was marked “spoiled.” “We want our vote to count and our voice to be heard. And the only way for that to happen is if we are able to vote appropriately,” she said.

State Election Director Linda Lamone said by telephone Tuesday afternoon that they received similar reports during the primary and she calls it “human error.”

Lamone says voters will sometimes make a mistake on a ballot and hand a used ballot back to poll workers, who are supposed to mark it “spoiled.” She says some workers are getting so busy they aren’t marking them and somehow give a used ballot to another voter.

By The Associated Press & Kevin McManus