2018 Primary Election Day shenanigans: Broken machines, relocated polling places and more

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This morning’s primary election began with the news that 80,000 voters would have to cast provisional ballots after the Maryland State Board of Elections said it did not receive address changes from the Motor Vehicle Administration. That number was an increase from an initial estimate that the glitch would affect 18,700 voters. Yikes.

As with other vote-casting days, some people encountered long lines and other foul-ups, including confusion over the aforementioned provisional ballots. Here’s a roundup of what citizens and candidates are reporting on social media.

Broken Ballot Machines

Del. Antonio Hayes (D-40th District), who’s running to unseat incumbent Sen. Barbara Robinson in his same district, also said several voting machines weren’t working early on at Towanda Recreation Center, which served as a polling place for Northwest Baltimore today.

No Longer Your Polling Place

Voters who went to Friendship Academy in Calverton to cast their ballots were informed that it wasn’t even a polling place anymore. Signage outside indicated otherwise, but elections staffers there sent everyone to nearby James Mosher Academy.

Del. Brooke Lierman (D-46th District) notified voters this afternoon that city elections officials had relocated a polling site from Patapsco Elementary School to nearby Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson Elementary/Middle School. At least that move was only half a mile.

Fox-45 reported the move was made due to complaints of fleas and mice.

The City Board of Elections also notified voters early that they’d switched a voting site in Armistead Gardens, moving it about a half-mile up the road.

On Monday evening, the state told voters in Baltimore County their polling place was moved due to a power outage.

UPDATE (7 p.m.): The Baltimore City Board of Elections announced the following polling places would be open until 9 p.m.

Provisional Ballots are Confusing

Activist Megan Kenny, who says she’s unregistered with any political party, encountered some confusion at a polling site at Success Academy in Northeast Baltimore. Kenny said she showed up after she was one of tens of thousands to hear from state officials about her muddled voter registration. She figured she couldn’t vote at all, but was told she had been registered Democrat. She sought to clear it up.

That was not the end.

Another voter, Paul Gardner, said he was told he had to fill out a provisional ballot, only to later learn the email about the mistake as, well, a mistake.

It’s OK if you’re confused about how this happened. We are too.

Mayoral Typos

This story will be updated. An earlier version incorrectly said voters were rerouted from Friendship Academy in Hamilton Hills, when in fact they were rerouted from Friendship Preparatory Academy in Calverton.

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