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November 2, 2010

Maryland Election 2010: City voter told that someone cast early ballot in his name

When James Moore went to vote at 5:30 p.m. today, the 32-year-old Pigtown resident says he got disturbing news from polling officials at George Washington Elementary School.

"They told me someone had voted early in my name -- and it wasn’t me,” he said.

Moore, a Johns Hopkins University project manager at the Johns Hopkins University, wanted polling officials to override that earlier vote, whoever may have cast it during the early voting period that ended Thursday. But he was told that wasn’t possible. Instead, he was given a provisional ballot.

When Moore said that was unacceptable, he was given the phone number for Baltimore City’s Board of Elections and eventually reached election director Armstead B.C. Jones Sr.

Jones "told me there was nothing they could do, but he assured me my vote would be counted," Moore said. That didn’t satisfy him, either.

"I feel like I haven’t voted," Moore said.

Posted by David Nitkin at 7:22 PM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Maryland election 2010


My husband requested an absentee ballot 2 years ago when he was overseas. When he went to vote in the primary this year - he was told he could not because they sent him an absentee ballot (which he obviously never received not requested) He voted by provisional ballot and they had him re-register so he wouldn't have a problem for the general election. Well, of course, when he went to vote today - AGAIN he was told he had to vote by provisional ballot because he was sent an absentee ballot (to a unit that is no longer deployed???) and he never received. I don't know why it happened again but he feels disenfranchised by their inability to get this right. Why would they continue to send him absentee ballots - even after the election judge had him re-register?? Maryland is VERY frustrating and doesn't take care of servicemembers home or abroad...

This is EXACTLY why we need to change the law to make it mandatory to show ID to vote.

this happened to me too ...I am at best an occasional voter but was excited to vote today ... my experience today strongly reinforced the feeling of 'why bother' to be honest ...very frustrating...

I don't think it's too much to ask that a prospective voter prove his/her identity with a piece of government-issued picture ID, whether in-force or expired, or with set of supporting documents.

This happened to a young lady at Northwood Elementary in the Baltimore City today! Someone seemed to have already voted in her name! Voter ID is a requirement that needs to be addressed this GA session in 2011!!!

I went to vote at the same G.W. elementary school today. I gave them my voter registration card and they looked at it like it was calculus problem and asked me what it was. I told them it was my registration card and then it took them 20 minutes to figure out i was in ward 4 and I should vote on the machine to the left. On the card it stated "WARD 4" blatantly. I know these people are volunteers but something needs to be done, i should not know more than the officials after walking in the room 2 minutes earlier.

I requested an absentee ballot when I voted early in the primary. I have never received my absentee ballot.

Did someone vote for me?

WE need to fix this elective system.
We need to look into who is registered.

At a minimum the Voter ID card should be required, if not the full state-issued photo ID. I'm sure there is some bleeding heart out there who thinks forcing citizens to show ID (even the flimsy voter card) is discriminatory.

We have PROVISIONAL BALLOTS in this state and anyone with any questions of their eligibility are entitled to a provisional ballot.

Remember, the 9the Circus Court in San Fransisco refused to allow Arizona to demand proof of CITIZENSHIP in the USA to register to vote.

That cannot stand in ANY state of this union.

The same thing happened to me today when I went to vote in Columbia; I was told that I had already voted, and that even if it was a mistake, my only option was a provisional ballot. So not only did someone else vote in my place, but my provisional vote will only be counted if the election is "extremely close." I notified the director of our county board of elections, but I'm upset that my vote will likely not be counted.

She gave the slip to me. It said James Andrew Moore. I gave it back! She chucked it in the trash.
Looked up my name again Asked me my address this time. Then she gave me the slip. I double checked. I voted. I chuckled to think that the discarded slip might invalidate the other guys vote. Naw, that kind of stuff doesn't happen. If it was yours, sorry, but it's not my fault. The system has good intentions, but the staff sometimes has limited attention.

I voted early because I knew I would be out of state November 2, 2010. I provided accurate information to the election official, including my address and birth date. I was given a receipt and told to sign it, along with a voter card for the ballot terminal. As I was voting, I noticed that I was being asked to vote for a County Council Person that was not the person running in my district. So I stopped voting and called an official over telling him there had to be some sort of mistake. The workers did not seem to believe me, but eventually recognized that I was aware of who was running for county council in my district. It turns out that the original official received my correct information, but somehow selected someone on the screen other than me (presumably the name above or below me). I mention this because the problem of someone being told that someone else already voted in their name, does not necessarily mean there has been voter fraud. In fact, my guess is that most such cases are the result of an election official's error rather than fraud.

It is UNACCEPTABLE that the Baltimore City’s Board of Elections and specifically its director, will not correct a known voting illegality and fraud perpetrated against not merely the person of James Moore but the whole of Baltimore's electorate. I am unconvinced that the applicable law favors the retention of a fraudulent ballot. Not only Mr. Moore, but the electorate should demand effective and just administration of the election laws.

I have been asked to show photo ID along with my voters card over the past several years. I guess it is where you are voting and how reliable the volunteers are. File formal complaints, in writing to the State Elections Board. Also, if you have problems at your polling places it may be a good idea to start volunteering.

The same exact thing happened to me during the primary election. I came completely unglued over the whole situation. It is disgusting that I can't even trust our election process, much less the slimey politicians that are subsequently elected.

ID's must be required to vote! If you don't have an official ID, you obviously don't contribute enough to society to have a say.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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