Election Board: Moving Liquor Board In With Election Office Compromises Election Security

It was a decision made by the County Executive.


Frederick, Md (KM). It would compromise election security. That’s a concern raised by Frederick County Election Director Stuart Harvey regarding a decision by the County Executive to move the Liquor Control Board into space at 340A Montevue Lane which is occupied by the Election Office.

The Board of Elections discussed this with its staff t a meeting on July 3rd, 2019, and expressed its unanimous opposition to the move. It says it would seriously jeopardizes election security and the Board’s ability to conduct elections in the county, according to a statement issued by Election Director Harvey.

He says the space which would be occupied by the Liquor Board is where election-related equipment is stored, and equipment is dropped off after election. It also provide space for a lot of polling place supplies. “The problem with having the Liquor Board in the same building as we are is the fact that we would not only would be lose that space, but that space would be right next to where we have absentee ballots. And we have to keep absentee ballots absolutely secure both voted and unvoted absentee ballots,” says Harvey.

“The Liquor Board , if they’re  put in that space, they will not have separate facilities. And so both their staff and their public, if they’re going to use the bathroom, will going to have to walk through the middle of the Board of Elections,” Harvey also points out.

He also says planning will soon begin on the 2020 elections, and having the Liquor Board in that building will make it difficult. “Plus, the traffic from the Liquor Board would be extremely heavy just before the primary election. Our primary election in 2020 is April 28th, and the renewal of the liquor licenses are done May 1st,” Harvey says.

The Election Board  has met with County Executive’s staff on this issue. “They came to us and told us that they already made the decision without consulting us first. We were a little taken aback because we figured they’d consult with the Board of Elections first,” says Harvey.

He says he issued this statement after meeting with the County’ Executive’s staff, but hadn’t heard back in over a month “We need to begin planning for the 2020 elections so we needed to issue this statement now,”: says Harvey.

“We strongly urge the County Executive to move the Liquor Board to another location,” says Harvey.


By Kevin McManus