After viewing the Fox 45 news video regarding the recount in the Baltimore County Executive race, it appears that the rules clearly laid out by the Maryland State Board of Elections may have allowed the recount to be hijacked as well.
The recount declared John Olszewski, Jr.as the winner by 17 votes. This quote about the process was taken from The Baltimore Sun:
How is it done? Elections officials will set up teams of bipartisan judges who will review ballots in groups of 50, placing the ballots in piles for each candidate. Any ballots with questionable marks will be sent to election board members for a ruling.
Sorry folks, we can’t place the blame on this debacle on a foreign entity, like the Russians, but rather on election officials who are entrusted with tabulating the final count to determine who will run in the general election to become the leader of one of the largest counties in Maryland.
Let’s take a close look at the impact this one election could have on other races throughout the state. In plain language, it boils down to a matter of the spelling of a particular candidate’s name, or whether the voter can comprehend the simple instructions listed below.
For those who are not as smart as a fifth-grader, the instructions shown above are quite explicit. They do not allow for what is now being interpreted as a valid vote, which could include such items as crossing out a candidate’s name, writing “yes” next to a candidate’s name, and other such nonsense.
This may become one of the most important constitutional issues facing our government officials.
We have been told that election officials are examining a voter who “over votes,” whatever the heck that means. As we stated before, instructions on how to vote are clearly stated, and each voter receives those instructions before going into the polling booth to cast their ballot.
According to the Fox 45 News report, election officials will allow a valid vote for Johnny Olszewski, Jr. if the voter colored in the “O” in the candidate’s last name. This issue opens a proverbial can of worms (or, more likely, a barrel of pythons) based on several factors that, to our knowledge, are unprecedented in any election.
Let’s take a look at some concerns there were brought to our attention in numerous phone calls following the Fox 45 News story:
- Does this establish a precedent for future elections?
- Who set the standards for this unusual type of voter counting?
- Would a person running for a political position be awarded a vote if someone colored in the letter O in that candidate’s name?
- Has this situation ever happened before?
This somewhat strange process harkens back to the 2000 presidential race involving George W. Bush and Al Gore, when we learned what a “hanging chad” was.
How can election officials allow the coloring of the letter “O” count? Is that letter an oval, as shown in the instructions? (It most certainly is not.)
Several community groups have contacted the Post and expect to file a formal complaint with the Baltimore County Board of Elections over this issue.
One of the callers suggested this was another corrupt move by the Democrats to have their “chosen” candidate make it to the general election, since he would continue the current “pay to play” system in Baltimore County.
Other callers suggested taking this issue to court based on the interpretation of the voter instructions by county election officials.
It should be also noted that those roughly 85,000 ballots were hand counted, which introduces the factor of human error as a possible contamination to the recount.
The volatile primary election on the Democratic side is bound to continue because the stakes are so high. Remember, the winner of this race will face-off against Republican candidate Al Redmer in the November General Election.
Stay tuned folks–this appears to be far from over.