Maryland Elections Officials Change Voter Turnout Prediction After Ballot Shortage

African American voters in Maryland. PHOTO/Rich Vary/NewsHourBy Reform Sasscer Staff:

Prince George’s County elections officials acknowledged mistakes and say they’re changing the way they predict voter turnout after dozens of precincts ran out of paper ballots during the November election. This blog was the first to report widespread voter suppression in Prince George’s County in what appeared to have been an organized scheme to elect certain candidates at the expense of the wider population. Clearly, in a state with democratic voters the elections results left a lot to the imaginations.

Decades ago, amid the most overt privations of Jim Crow, African-Americans used to tell a joke about a black Harvard professor who moves to the Deep South and tries to register to vote. A white clerk tells him that he will first have to read aloud a paragraph from the Constitution. When he easily does so, the clerk says that he will also have to read and translate a section written in Spanish. Again he complies. The clerk then demands that he read sections in French, German, and Russian, all of which he happens to speak fluently. Finally, the clerk shows him a passage in Arabic. The professor looks at it and says, “My Arabic is rusty, but I believe this translates to ‘Negroes cannot vote in this county.’ ”

Old jokes have lately been finding renewed salience. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and grandfather clauses, once the most common mechanisms for disadvantaging minority voters, have been consigned to the history books, but one need look no further than the governor’s race in Maryland to see their modern equivalents in action. The race between the Republican, Larry Hogan, and the Democrat, Ben Jealous, the former NAACP leader o—who, had he won, would have been the first black  governor in Maryland. However, that was never to be in what appeared to be a voter suppression in Maryland especially in Prince George’s County and Baltimore city. There was also other violations in which  democratic leaders joined forces with Hogan behind the scenes to dupe voters in violation of laid down processes.

One voter Terry Cleaver  felt the election was stolen and stated the following : ….30 precinct without ballots in one of the two most democratic counties in the state. …..An honorable and decent man would want a run off to know if he, LARRY HOGAN, was truly elected…..GOP slime will grab power “at any price” and to hell with your voting rights…..I’m betting on the latter. …..Jealous won and IT WAS STOLEN….We can lay down and take it or start making NOISE to the media…..Just demand a run off every time you see Hogan’s name.”

We reprint the report by NBC4 News below:

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Prince George’s County elections officials say they’re changing the way they predict voter turnout after dozens of precincts ran out of paper ballots during the November election. Hundreds of voters waited in lines for ballots for hours after the polls were supposed to have closed. Investigative Reporter Jodie Fleischer explains what the county is doing to keep that from happening again.

By Jodie Fleischer and Katie Leslie

Prince George’s County elections officials say they’re changing the way they predict voter turnout after dozens of precincts ran out of paper ballots during the November election.

The shortage left hundreds of voters standing in line hours after the polls were supposed to have closed and ultimately delayed the reporting of results statewide.

Among the changes: Elections officials will no longer use prior voter turnout to predict the number of ballots needed for each precinct and instead will consider the number of registered voters assigned to each polling place.

Prince George’s County elections officials have previously said they anticipated higher turnout this year than the typical midterm election and therefore used the 2016 presidential election turnout as the basis for the number of ballots it ordered.

However, it still fell short. The report confirms nearly 30 precincts ran out of paper ballots. The News4 I-Team reviewed the ballot allocation numbers for each and found some of those only had roughly 30-35 percent voter turnout.

According to the report, poll workers will now be required to monitor and document the number of ballots the precinct has on hand so they know when to request more. Other ideas include having specific point people to receive and expedite all ballot requests to make sure the response is immediate.

Elections officials will also work with law enforcement on potential traffic solutions in the event additional ballots are needed during rush hour — an issue officials say delayed the delivery of additional ballots in November.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot lambasted Prince George’s County’s performance during a recent Board of Public Works meeting. He was one of many state officials awaiting Prince George’s review of its ballot problems, and in an interview with News4, he called the proposed changes common-sense.

“Each event that happens like this is very corrosive as far as the public’s trust and confidence in the system,” Franchot said.

“Hopefully we will improve,” he added.

The head of Prince George’s elections couldn’t be reached for comment this week, but the report also indicates elections officials will begin a series of “lessons learned” meetings in January.

via NBC4

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