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Plan to train judges is just window dressing

Left to right, Election director, Armstead B.C. Jones, Sr observes as Lawrence C. Cager Jr. (D), vice president,, Mildred Easterling, administrative officer 1 and Eleanor Wang (R), president, discuss a provisional ballot at the Baltimore City Board of Elections.
Left to right, Election director, Armstead B.C. Jones, Sr observes as Lawrence C. Cager Jr. (D), vice president,, Mildred Easterling, administrative officer 1 and Eleanor Wang (R), president, discuss a provisional ballot at the Baltimore City Board of Elections. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

City officials' plan to approve an additional $133,000 to train extra precinct judges for the November general election is merely window dressing for a larger problem that threatens the electoral process in Baltimore ("Baltimore to pay for more election judge training after troubled primary," Sept. 14).

What we witnessed in April's primary election was nothing short of gross incompetence on the part of the city Board of Elections and lack of training by the precinct judges hired a day ahead of the primary.

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Four hours of training for a 13-hour job by election officials who themselves don't seem educated on election law won't solve the issues we witnessedthis year. There is a reason that the city experienced nearly nine times the number of voting irregularities as the rest of the state's 23 jurisdictions combined. It's called ineffective leadership — and no amount of money can fix that problem.

This is also not the time for state Attorney General Brian Frosh to be asking the courts to dismiss a case that seeks to get to the bottom of an issue that led to the first decertification of election results in recent history. In fact, the AG's Office should recuse itself from the case since Mr. Frosh was a longtime colleague of the Democratic nominee for mayor, Catherine Pugh, both of whom served in the Maryland Senate. Moreover, his deputy AG, Elizabeth Embry, was a candidate in the mayoral contest in that election.

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If the right to vote is truly the cornerstone of our democracy, one would think Mr. Frosh and the Democratic leadership not only would want nothing more than to ensure that a fiasco of this magnitude never happens again but that the voters of Baltimore get a full accounting of what actually happened to their ballots.

Hassan Giordano, Baltimore

The writer is a member of Voters Organized for the Integrity of City Elections, or VOICE.

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