City elections board finishes counting ballots, makes final vote official

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A mail-in ballot for the primary election on June 2. Credit: Brandon Weigel

The Baltimore City Board of Elections announced today that it has finished counting ballots and certified the results of the primary election.

According to multiple reports, 157,589 votes were counted, up from the 144,756 ballots cast in the 2016 primary. Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the election be conducted primarily through the mail in response to the coronavirus.

In the mayor’s race, winner City Council President Brandon Scott finished ahead of former Mayor Sheila Dixon by a little more than 3,100 votes, or about 2 percent.

After securing the Democratic nomination last Wednesday, Scott highlighted his Baltimore roots and his commitment to serving all residents, especially those in the city’s overlooked neighborhoods.

“Our campaign was about proving to the world that a young black man who grew up in the forgotten Baltimore here in Park Heights could survive everything that you have to live through in Baltimore–the gun violence, underfunded schools, living in neighborhoods with vacant homes, living in areas where you know that you are not going to be recognized even as human by your own city government–that somebody could survive all of that to be the leader of this great city and serve as an example for the generations to come,” he said.

Dixon on Saturday conceded the election, congratulating Scott for his victory and describing him as “a native of this city, a product of our public schools, [and] a young man I have watched grow in public service.”

In a statement, she said the election brought her to a crossroads.

“One road is identified with a sign of victory and the other is a yield sign which signals us to yield to the successor. The latter leads us towards a victory sign within ourselves–a place that empowers and celebrates who we are regardless of the outcome.”

Dixon also addressed questions she raised last week about vote counting, saying those were intended to examine the effectiveness of the electoral process, not the “the validity of a candidates results.”

“We should all have questions when there are real issues regarding the voting process. It is too serious of a right to take lightly,” she said.

Before the primary election, Scott repeatedly criticized the state and city election boards for delays in delivering mail-in ballots to voters. By election day, many Marylanders had still not received their ballots.

State election officials and the printing vendor, SeaChange, blamed each other for the delays.

Then, early on the morning after the election, election officials pulled all results from the state’s website after discovering a printing error with the ballots for District 1. Election officials had to duplicate the votes from the affected ballots onto new ballots that could be properly scanned.

Gov. Larry Hogan requested for the Maryland Board of Elections to submit a report on the “significant failures” of the primary election by July 3.

Scott and Dixon were followed by former U.S. Treasury official Mary Miller with 15.6 percent of the vote, former Maryland Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah with 11.5 percent, incumbent Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young with 6.2 percent, former Baltimore Police Department spokesperson T. J. Smith with 5.8 percent and activist Carlmichael “Stokey” Cannady with 1.7 percent.

The remaining 17 candidates each earned less than 1 percent of the votes, and collectively accounted for about 2 percent.

Shannon Wright, a pastor and former vice president of the Yonkers NAACP, won the Republican nomination with 29.1 percent of her party’s votes and will face off against Scott in the November general election.

Del. Nick Mosby won the Democratic nomination for Baltimore City Council president with 40.2 percent of the votes in that race, ahead of District 13 Councilwoman Shannon Sneed and former Councilman Carl Stokes.

Mosby will face off against Republican nominee Jovani M. Patterson, who ran unopposed, in the general election.

Fourth District Councilman Bill Henry won the Democratic race for comptroller with 54.7 percent of the votes, unseating six-term incumbent Joan M. Pratt, who received 45.3 percent. No Republican candidates ran for the position.

Incumbents council members Zeke Cohen (District 1), Danielle McCray (District 2), Ryan Dorsey (District 3), Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer (District 5), Sharon Green Middleton (District 6), Kristerfer Burnett (District 8) John T. Bullock (District 9) and Robert Stokes Sr. (District 12) all won their respective races, while Eric Costello (District 11) ran unopposed.

Newcomers Mark Conway (District 4), James Torrence (District 7), Phylicia Porter (District 10), Antonio “Tony” Glover (District 13), and Odette Ramos (District 14) won the Democratic nomination in their districts.

McCray, Dorsey, Schleifer, Middleton, Torrence, Porter, Stokes and Ramos will go up against their Republican challengers in the general election.

District 10 is the only race in which the Republican Party fielded more than one candidate.

Cohen, Conway, Burnett, Bullock, Costello and Glover face no further challengers because the Republican Party did not field a nominee in those districts.

In Baltimore, Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 10-1.

Marcus Dieterle


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