Maryland decertifies Baltimore election results, investigates irregularities

Maryland state elections officials have ordered that the results of Baltimore’s recent primary election be decertified after watchdogs and candidates complained that the process was flawed.

State Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone said the number of ballots cast in the April 26 contest was hundreds more than the number of voters who checked in at polling places. The state also identified 80 provisional ballots that hadn’t been considered.

“It’s important every ballot is counted,” Lamone said.

It doesn’t appear likely that the investigation will change the results of Baltimore’s Democratic mayoral primary, where Senate Majority Leader Catherine Pugh finished more than 2,000 votes ahead of Sheila Dixon, a former mayor of the city.

Statewide election results in the U.S. Senate and presidential primary cannot be certified until the problems in Baltimore are resolved.

Discrepancies between the number of ballots and voters aren’t unusual and were also spotted in five other counties this cycle, Lamone said. But she said the size of the discrepancy, and Baltimore’s inability to resolve it, prompted an unusual state intervention.