City strug­gles to re­cruit, train more elec­tion judges

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND NATION -

A month ago, Bal­ti­more of­fi­cials an­nounced plans to hire an ad­di­tional 1,000 elec­tion judges to en­sure prob­lems that sur­faced in the April pri­mary aren’t re­peated. But with weeks to go be­fore the Novem­ber gen­eral elec­tion, around the same num­ber of elec­tion judges have signed up for train­ing as in April, Arm­stead B.C. Jones Sr., di­rec­tor of the Bal­ti­more City Elec­tions Board, told a Bal­ti­more City Coun­cil com­mit­tee Wed­nes­day evening. Jones told coun­cil mem­bers that about 3,200 judges were re­cruited for the April pri­mary, with 2,800 who signed up for train­ing. Fewer than 1,900 showed up to work on elec­tion day. The April pri­mary was marred by polling places that opened late and pro­vi­sional bal­lots that were im­prop­erly scanned. State of­fi­cials tem­po­rar­ily de­cer­ti­fied the city’s April 26 pri­mary re­sults, con­clud­ing after an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that about 1,700 bal­lots were han­dled im­prop­erly, in­clud­ing 1,200 pro­vi­sional bal­lots that were scanned without judges’ hav­ing ver­i­fied that vot­ers were el­i­gi­ble. About 500 pro­vi­sional bal­lots were never con­sid­ered. Of­fi­cials blamed the prob­lems on elec­tion judges who didn’t show up for work. For Novem­ber, about 3,700 to 3,800 judges were re­cruited, but only around 2,700 of them have been trained, Jones said. Jones told coun­cil mem­bers it was dif­fi­cult to re­cruit enough judges. Jones said his of­fice will open up an­other two days of train­ing for poll work­ers who are in­ter­ested.

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