By Adam Pagnucco.
Comptroller Peter Franchot has joined Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford in calling for the resignation of State Board of Elections administrator Linda Lamone in the wake of the botched Baltimore City Council District 1 election. Franchot made the following statement on Facebook.
Yes, we do have a problem with the Baltimore City elections. A very big problem, in fact. Namely, voter disenfranchisement through gross administrative incompetence and widespread, citywide irregularities.
Inexcusable delays in the disbursement of ballots.
Inaccurate, misleading information on those same ballots.
Firsthand accounts, of which there are far too many to reference here, of Marylanders enduring unacceptable barriers to their constitutional right to vote.
Such as ballots that were never received in the mail.
Unacceptably long lines at the limited number of polling stations that were actually open. And people being told at the polls that they had already voted when, in fact, that wasn’t the case.
Bizarre and obviously mistaken vote totals being posted to the our state’s official board of elections website that caused undue public confusion.
And this morning, more than 12 hours after the polls were supposed to have closed in Baltimore City, the residents and business owners of this city in crisis had no timely updates on the outcome of the races for mayor, council president, city comptroller and various city council seats.
All we can be sure of today is that people who had the right to vote didn’t receive a ballot. People who didn’t have the right to vote DID. And that, regardless of whatever outcomes are eventually posted by our state and city elections boards, they will be subjected to widespread skepticism if not credible legal challenges.
Our city, state and country are already facing far too many existential challenges without corroded public confidence in the integrity of our democratic process and in the legitimacy of the outcomes. Yet that’s what is happening today, yet again, in our state.
It’s time for an end to the endless excuses. It’s time for a new culture of accountability and competence. It’s time for our longtime state elections administrator, Linda Lamone, and our city’s election director, Armstead Jones, to resign from their respective positions.