Maryland elections board and MVA reach agreement on number of voters whose information wasn't transferred on time: 83,493

The State Board of Elections and the Motor Vehicle Administration appear to have reached agreement on the number of voters whose changes of address or party registration weren’t properly recorded in time for the June 26 primary elections.

The number is 83,493, according to deputy elections administrator Nikki Charlson. The MVA put out a statement agreeing with the number.

That’s fewer than had been reported by the elections board as of June 28, but more than the number used by the MVA.

The elections board at one time reported that the information of almost 87,000 voters had been collected by the MVA but not passed on to the elections board. The cause, both agreed, was a computer glitch.

MVA Administrator Christine Nizer put out a statement on June 28 saying she was “confident that the ultimate number of voters impacted on Election Day” would be fewer than the 80,000 estimated by the elections board the day before the primary.

The accuracy of Nizer’s statement depends on the definition of “impacted.” If by impacted, she meant the number of voters whose information was mishandled, the statement appears incorrect. If she meant affected voters who actually showed up on Election Day and were directed to cast provisional ballots as a result of the fumble, she was correct.

It was known from the beginning that fewer than 80,000 would fit that definition because it would have required almost 100 percent turnout to reach that number. An MVA spokeswoman did not return calls seeking clarification.

Charlson said the number of provisional ballots cast for all reasons came to 20,563. She said she didn’t have a number for the MVA-related provisionals, but the number was about 5,500 more than voted provisionally in the 2014 primary.

Charlson said the two agencies got together after their apparent disagreement, reviewed the data and arrived at the number of 83,493 voters. She said elections officials culled 317 from the number to account for voters who made more than one change while the glitch went undetected. That reduced the number to 83,176.

Provisional ballots are always counted, officials say, but the process often takes place long after the winners are known. This year has been different: Two high-profile races came down to absentee and provisional ballots: the Democratic primaries for Baltimore County and Montgomery County executive.

mdresser@baltsun.com

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