The decertification of the Frederick County election results is a huge embarrassment for the county Board of Elections and one more headache for election officials everywhere who are trying to defend the integrity of the electoral process.

Election workers “discovered a discrepancy between the total number of votes in the certified results and the number of accepted mail-in and provisional ballots” in the District 3 County Council race, according to a statement from the board. Officials blamed human error for the problem.

(21) comments

Pro-Choice/Privileged W. Woman

So someone scanned ballots twice, do we have verification that is what happened or are they guessing that is what happened?...100 mail-in and provisional ballots in the District 3 race had been scanned twice due to human error. ..we can understand how this happened..but we want to know why..?

But the other day: Anthony Gutierrez, deputy director of the county board, said he "suspected" that about 100 mail-in and provisional ballots in the District 3 race had been scanned twice due to human error. So are they positive that is what happened?

Suspecting and knowing are two totally different things...We deserve to know exactly what happened and why...so this doesn't happen again.

Then the election was certified but in preparing for the recount it was discovered that:

“There were more votes in the certified results than the number of counted ballots,” Nikki Charlson, the deputy administrator of the Maryland State Board of Elections, told News-Post reporter Jillian Atelsek in a phone interview...which was a good thing and M.C said said the error would have been caught in the mandatory post-election audit anyway...so it looks like the error would have been caught eventually?

But why wasn't this caught before they certified the election,,why didn't they discover the vote totals didn't match before they certified the results?

What protocols did they have in place to verify the results before they certified the election results? How did they “discovered a discrepancy between the total number of votes in the certified results and the number of accepted mail-in and provisional ballots”???

Board of Elections made big mistake, but will get things right...is this a message to the Board of Elections? or are you a newspaper going to actually get us some actual facts so we know exactly what happened and why, so we can stop the elections deniers in their tracks?

Boomer631B

This is becoming a real circus for sure - you got two candidates out there democrats one who sat on information on the other and did not file a formal protest petition before the deadline waiting to see the outcome of the election - Keegan mistake. The other lying about her address of residence for the election seat she is seeking thus another one that for whatever reasons got overlooked by the validators of the BOE of Frederick when they created the ballots. Then to make matter worse they could not keep track of mail in ballots requested versus actually mailed in that were legit and counted versus those who voted both mail in as well as in person with a provisional that day of election and now we have issues... time they do away with all mail in ballots and just have the old fashion absentees ballot and have early voting for those to lazy to come on election day and keep provisional ballots for those having problems on day of election. Would fix many issues right away including the counting of mail in ballots and validation of them to make sure they have been properly completed and signed before the due date for mailing.

shiftless88

PLease tell me the functional difference between an absentee ballot and a mail-in ballot. Hint, there is none.

Boomer631B

Absentee ballots were only provided in the past for those who would not be in town to vote on election day... and there were protocols with using the Absentee Ballot. Then we decided to do early voting - okay if you want and we still kept Absentee Ballots again mainly for those who could not vote in person on election day or even during early voting - like the Military. Then we decided during Covid to amend the voting process because folks were in fear of coming out to vote and we did Mail-In Ballots and they needed to post marked by election day and they required a valid signature that would be validated by the election judges. Mail-in ballots are similar to Absentee Ballots in their shape and size and the contents; however the shear purpose behind the two are different. Absentee Ballots are still strictly for those who cannot make the election day or even early voting; Mail-In Ballots are for those who could make it to the polls but most of them choose not to come out and vote. Why; we will never know because on the Mail-In Ballot unlike Absentee Ballot you do not give a reason for wanting a Mail-In Ballot.

shiftless88

Boomer, thank you for proving my point. Absentee ballots and mail-in ballots are exactly the same. You just don't like that more people use them.

Boomer631B

A recent change in the law requires the State Board of Elections and each local board of elections to refer to absentee ballots as "mail-in ballots" and absentee voting as "mail-in voting." Please note that this change in terminology does NOT change the process of mail-in voting.

public-redux

Why do you attribute the use of mail in ballots to laziness?

Boomer631B

Because people are lazy

Plumbum

FNP management, the three ring circus that you allow in the FNP comments, is an embarrassment to the county community as a whole.

Just sayin......

MD1756

"When human beings are running elections, that is the best result we can ask for." Set low standards and you'll get low quality work. Apparently the FNP subscribes to a principle similar to US auto manufacturers in the 70s when the Japanese then gave them a big surprise with their zro defect philosophy. When I worked for Hercules (before working for the EPA) they had an acronym DIRTFT - Do it right the first time. With all the (generally unreasonable accusations about election fraud, we don't need to add fuel to the fire with sloppy work. The error should have been found before certification of the results. The number of mail in ballots is an issue. Voting is important enough and there are enough locations, that it should be done in person by most of us. If we need to, increase the number of days people can vote in person. That will decrease the headaches after the election.

francesca_easa

Well said MD1756.

pdl603

FNP paving the way for lowered expectations.

Reader1954

its not clear whether the error was found only because of a recount or whether it would have been found had a recount not been upcoming.

bhall74

Bottom line, if there had not been a recount requirement the certified results would have remained in place...and would have been wrong. Obviously the process followed by the board of elections to count the votes is flawed, and waiting until Thursday to count absentee ballots has absolutely nothing to do with this failed process.

AOC

This editorial can effectively be communicated with 2 sentences. Di Cola is a dishonest person and a liar. Frederick County Board of Elections is incompetent and those who had any hand in this blunder must be removed from office immediately.

TheLorax1

Why are we only hearing about this law suit now? Seems to be a big story. I only know about it from the great reporting of AOC! (Thanks for posting links ;)

Unknown123456

Never happen

Dwasserba

But everyone loves the “off with their heads” approach. It’s so festive

shiftless88

Because AOC wants to replace people with her stooges. Remove those hard-working people with lots of experience and put inexperienced people in there to run a complex and critical piece of infrastructure. That'll work well....

Dwasserba

What will you do first, volunteer to help out in the future or run for office?

WalkTheTown

I think that's a strong accusation. I think it's accurate to say that she was careless with details and didn't properly notify anyone of a change of residence.

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