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Montgomery County Council calls on State and County Boards of Elections to take further steps to notify voters of changes to Democratic Gubernational Primary candidates

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 24, 2018

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 24, 2018—Montgomery County Council President Hans Riemer and Council Vice President Nancy Navarro have sent a letter on behalf of the Council to Linda Lamone, State Administrator of Elections, and the Montgomery County Board of Elections, urging that “new ballots should be printed statewide to include the updated names of all eligible candidates” to ensure that voters have been sufficiently notified of the changes to the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary candidates list.


The letter notes that because of unforeseen recent changes in the list of eligible gubernatorial candidates, “posting a sign or notice at polling places” may not be sufficient to inform voters about who is eligible. In the case that new ballots cannot be printed statewide, the letter calls for the creation of a ballot insert that would include the updated list of eligible candidates.

The full text of the letter is below:

Administrator Lamone and Board Members:

The Montgomery County Council is concerned with how Democratic primary voters are going to be notified of the changes to the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary candidates list. We are not convinced that posting a sign or notice at polling places is sufficient in taking “all reasonable steps to notify the voters of the change” to the candidates, as required by state regulation.

Surely no one could predict the set of circumstances that have led us to this point; however, we can affect how the primary election will be administered moving forward. While we certainly understand that sample ballots have already been distributed in some parts of the state, we strongly believe that new ballots should be printed statewide to include the updated names of all eligible candidates.

In the absence of printing new ballots statewide, we would strongly encourage you to create an insert that would include the updated list of eligible gubernatorial candidates. This insert would accompany official ballots for the Democratic primary, and would not require a reprinting of all ballots. It could then be replicated by local Boards of Elections as an insert for sample ballots that have not already been mailed to voters. Furthermore, the insert could also be mailed to voters statewide who have already received their sample ballots.

Sharing up-to-date information with voters is an important responsibility of the State Board of Elections. We believe that failing to do due diligence in notifying voters of changes to the candidates from which they may choose is a form of disenfranchisement, and that this must be avoided at all cost.

We look forward to hearing from you regarding the actions the State Board of Elections will be taking this election cycle to ensure the provision of elections is fair and transparent.

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Release ID: 18-162
Media Contact: Sonya Healy, 2407777926 , Juan Jovel 2407777931