Maryland elections board gets 56 vote-flipping reports, say machines have been removed



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A voter fills our a provisional ballot by hand for the midterm elections at a polling place in Annapolis, Md., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)


BALTIMORE — Maryland elections officials got dozens of reports of malfunctioning election machines Tuesday but said the problem did not lead to incorrectly cast ballots.

Voters can look at a preview screen of their selections before they actually cast their ballots, a step designed to prevent anyone from voting for the wrong candidates, said Nikki Charlson, a spokeswoman for the Maryland State Board of Elections.

There were 56 reports in which the preview screen showed a candidate other than the one that the voter had selected, Charlson said Tuesday afternoon. But no incorrect votes were actually registered, Charlson said, and most of the malfunctioning machines were taken out of service.

The malfunctioning machines represent a small fraction of more than 16,000 voting units at 1,800 precincts, and voting overall was going smoothly in Maryland, Charlson said.

"We're taking it seriously and looking into it but in terms of scale it's, you know, 25 reports out of thousands of voters and 16,000 machines," she said earlier.

Also Tuesday, Charlson said four poll workers failed to show up at a Baltimore County precinct, leaving just six of 20 voting machines up and running when the polls opened. Charlson said all 20 machines came online not long after that and that the situation didn't cause long lines.

In Anne Arundel County, an election judge took down a campaign sign for Larry Hogan for being too close to a polling site.

The chief judge at the Glen Burnie Park Elementary School saw the sign Tuesday morning and measured its distance from the polling site, and it was less than the required 100 feet under Maryland law, said David Garreis, deputy director of the Anne Arundel County elections board.

He did not know how close the sign was but said it was taken down before the polls opened. He said there were no other reports of signs being too close to polling places and that voting was going smoothly in the county.

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