Dixon Declines to Challenge Baltimore City Primary Results, Citizen Lawsuit Remains Possibility

A Baltimore Sun article (2016-06-01) reported that former Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon has decided not to request a recount or challenge the City’s primary election results via a lawsuit. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the election results were de-certified based on the erroneous inclusion of provisional ballots and called in question Maryland Senator Catherine Pugh’s narrow primary victory. After a review by the State Board of Elections, the primary results were re-certified. According to the article, Dixon’s decision removes most of the uncertainty over the results and allows Pugh to focus on the general mayoral election in November. However, a citizens’ group is still considering filing a lawsuit that could keep the election results uncertain. From the article:

[Dixon spokeswoman] Martha McKenna said the former mayor continued to call on concerned voters to seek information to explain the irregularities that led officials to decertify the election and investigate the results. …

“We took a tack of working with the [state] Board of Elections and getting as much information as we could about the ballots, the certification, the recertification and the reconciliation process,” McKenna said. …

He said the group, Voters Organized for the Integrity of City Elections, believes they have until next Tuesday to file a lawsuit. …

Details on the grounds for a suit and the timing of when it would be filed are unclear. A lawyer for the group did not return messages seeking comment.

The article also described the Board of Election’s review. The article stated that the Board found about 1,700 ballots were handled improperly:

State officials concluded that about 1,200 provisional ballots were scanned into the vote tally on Election Day without judges verifying that the voters were eligible. More than 500 additional provisional ballots were not considered, officials found.

The results of the state’s review did not change the outcome of any race. …

City elections director Armstead B.C. Jones Sr. blamed the problems on the failure of 365 election judges to show up for work.

He has also said that city judges and voters were unfamiliar with the new paper balloting system. The state switched from touch screens this year.

Useful Links

Prior Conduit Street Coverage of 2016 Baltimore City Elections

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