Ballots for the Sept. 14th Republican primary had to be rushed back to the printer, after a last-minute error was spotted on them. The initial paper form instructed party members to select up to seven candidates for the Republican Central Committee, while it should have told voters to pick up to nine, according to Evelyn Potter with the Cecil County Election Board.
The problem developed after the Republican Party increased the number of seats that were open on the committee, following the last election. Somehow that revision didn’t make it on the official form for the fall 2010 primary, the official noted. To help prevent errors of this nature, the state provides a sample for stakeholders to examine and proofread, but after no objections were reported the proof went into printing.
Once the problem surfaced last week, it was too late for officials to correct the ballots for those casting absentee votes. So the Election Board, with the approval of the Central Committee’s leadership, started inserting special instructions on colorful pink sheets of paper in the ballot mailings. Forms for the primary on Sept. 14 and early voting are being corrected, Evelyn added.
Beyond absentee ballots, any citizen surfing over to the official state web site to get an online ballot or any media (legacy or new) using that Internet portal as a source to keep readers informed, would have received an incorrect form. That’s the situation with Someone Noticed, for we published the state’s product on August 15, as a reader service. We noticed other Eastern Shore newspapers have printed sample ballots in their voters guides this week, but we’re not sure what legacy media in Cecil County has done along those lines.
We were first alerted to this mistake by a representative of the Republican Central Committee early this week so we followed up on the story in order to alert voters and readers to the problem.
Link for obtaining your sample ballot from the Maryland Elections Center