Baltimore’s election director said his staff did not include the “I Voted” stickers in the cabinets sent to the city’s 296 precincts, but shortly after noon, packs were sent out to polling places.
“I’ll take the blame for that,” said Armstead B.C. Jones Sr., the election director.
Jones said he can’t deploy workers to all of the polls because he must prioritize staff resources. Ensuring equipment is working properly is the top concern, he said.
“I know [the stickers are] important to me, and important to the voters, but I have other things of importance to deal with: making sure people can vote,” Jones said.
Jones acknowledged other problems early Tuesday. Some polling places opened “10 to 15 minutes late” and at least one opened about an hour late, he said.
The biggest problem has been worker confusion over how to use the machines. Other workers have been dispatched to answer questions, he said.
Despite the problems early on, Jones said the day was unfolding “as well as can be expected” considering that the city is implementing a new voting system and hired and trained more than 2,000 judges, only to have a couple hundred back out, leaving the election board scrambling.
“There is nothing I can do to control that,” Jones said, adding “2,000 election judges can make or break an election.”