Plan to train judges is just win­dow dress­ing

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Has­san Gior­dano, Bal­ti­more The writer is a mem­ber of Vot­ers Or­ga­nized for the In­tegrity of City Elec­tions, or VOICE.

City of­fi­cials’ plan to ap­prove an ad­di­tional $133,000 to train ex­tra precinct judges for the Novem­ber gen­eral elec­tion is merely win­dow dress­ing for a larger prob­lem that threat­ens the elec­toral process in Bal­ti­more (“Bal­ti­more to pay for more elec­tion judge train­ing af­ter trou­bled pri­mary,” Sept. 14).

What we wit­nessed in April’s pri­mary elec­tion was noth­ing short of gross in­com­pe­tence on the part of the city Board of Elec­tions and lack of train­ing by the precinct judges hired a day ahead of the pri­mary.

Four hours of train­ing for a13-hour job by elec­tion of­fi­cials who them­selves don’t seem ed­u­cated on elec­tion law won’t solve the is­sues we wit­nessed this year. There is a rea­son that the city ex­pe­ri­enced nearly nine times the num­ber of vot­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties as the rest of the state’s 23 ju­ris­dic­tions com­bined. It’s called in­ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship — and no amount of money can fix that prob­lem.

This is also not the time for state At­tor­ney Gen­eral Brian Frosh to be ask­ing the courts to dis­miss a case that seeks to get to the bot­tom of an is­sue that led to the first de­cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of elec­tion re­sults in re­cent his­tory. In fact, the AG’s of­fice should re­cuse it­self from the case since Mr. Frosh was a long­time col­league of the Demo­cratic nom­i­nee for mayor, Cather­ine Pugh, both of whom served in the Mary­land Sen­ate. More­over, his deputy AG, El­iz­a­beth Em­bry, was a can­di­date in the may­oral con­test in that elec­tion.

If the right to vote is truly the cor­ner­stone of our democ­racy, one would think Mr. Frosh and the Demo­cratic lead­er­ship not only would want noth­ing more than to en­sure that a fi­asco of this mag­ni­tude never hap­pens again but that the vot­ers of Bal­ti­more get a full ac­count­ing of what ac­tu­ally hap­pened to their bal­lots.

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