From the Communities United Press Release:
“We have the right to due process!”
Ex-Felons and Members of the Community Demand the Immediate Removal of Sr. Director, Armistead Jones.
Baltimore, Md. – Communities United chapter of Ex-Felons are holding a press conference and rally to call for the immediate dismissal of Sr. Director, Armistead Jones. Under the leadership of Mr. Armistead Jones, the Baltimore City Board of Elections has made a mockery of the voting process, which can be viewed as voter suppression. Numerous errors have occurred under the leadership of Mr. Jones; enough for him to be called before a special hearing in the Maryland Senate to explain the debacle of the most recent Primary Election. Even at that time, Sr. Director Jones has repeatedly failed the members of his staff, while never taking any personal accountability or ownership of the failings in his role as Sr. Director of the Baltimore Office of the Board of Elections. Mr. Jones’ position of leadership requires that personal accountability for the proper execution of all tasks be solely his. Perry Hopkins, a Field Organizer for Communities United and Ex-Felon states, “Voting is the bedrock of our democracy and as such, we must have absolute faith in the process and be able to rely on those entrusted to handle our votes, accurately count our votes and accurately report the results in an orderly and timely manner.” As a direct result of mismanagement by the current leadership of Sr. Director, Armistead Jones, this was clearly not the case across Baltimore City in the last and most recent Primary Election cycle.
Sr. Director Jones has repeatedly faulted the members of his staff, while never taking any personal accountability or ownership of the failings in his role as the head administrator and Sr. Director of the Baltimore Office of the Board of Elections. Mr. Jones’ position of leadership requires that personal accountability for the proper execution of all tasks be solely his. Kimberly Haven, an Ex-Felon and advocate stated, “It is our contention, that the actions of Mr. Jones (and his office) not only violated the basic tenet of trust in the execution of our voting process, but in our Democracy as well.”
“I think it’s a personal matter of how he feels. He doesn’t want to look at the Ex-Felons who want to vote, because he’s not concerned about our rights,” says Reginald Smith.
All of the problems listed below, happened on Sr. Director, Armistead Jones’ watch:
1. Several polls did not open or close on time, thereby suppressing the vote, as voters were turned away.
2. Unlawful letters were sent to numerous newly enfranchised Ex-Felon Voters, discouraging them to register to vote, which is an act of voter suppression.
3. There were not sufficient numbers of functionally trained judges to service voters at polling sites.
4. Of his own volition, the Sr. Director certified election results before all votes were accurately counted.
5. Votes and voting ballots were improperly handled and miscounted. Provisional ballots were scanned, over 1000 more votes were erroneously cast than were checked in, and boxes of ballots were missing only to be found at a later date.
6. His current actions have now breached the public trust in the proper and accurate execution of the voting process and his continued tenure also serves as an act of voter suppression.
7. Reasons supporting the termination of Mr. Jones’ tenure clearly outweigh reasons to retain him, as indicated by his recent performance in the service of Baltimore City Voters.