Election Certification Delayed; 102 Additional Ballots Remain to Be Counted

by MCS Staff

Montgomery County’s Acting Election Director, Alysoun McLaughlin, released the following statement at 11:19pm on Thursday, August 11:

“Our precertification audit identified additional provisional ballots to be counted and the Board of Elections will be unable to certify the election as scheduled at its meeting tomorrow afternoon.”
“Before asking the Board to certify any election, our staff conducts a comprehensive precertification audit. That audit includes an inspection of a random sampling of ballot envelopes and a reconciliation of the total number of voters who cast a ballot against the number of ballots scanned.”

“Today, we pulled our random sample of empty provisional ballot envelopes for audit and were unable to locate one of the randomly selected envelopes where it should have been. In addition, we were unable to resolve a discrepancy between the number of provisional ballots that our staff had recommended that the Board accept, and the number of ballots scanned.”
“Together, these two pieces of information prompted a visual search of folders where provisional ballots had been stored prior to the canvass. Those folders contained 102 unopened, sealed ballot envelopes that were never removed from their folders and presented to the canvass from the following precincts:
• Precinct 06-10 – 1 ballot
• Precinct 06-11 – 1 ballot
• Precinct 06-13 – 14 ballots
• Precinct 06-14 – 7 ballots
• Precinct 06-15 – 15 ballots
• Precinct 13-56 – 12 ballots
• Precinct 13-57 – 10 ballots
• Precinct 13-58 – 30 ballots
• Precinct 13-59 – 12 ballots

“I apologize for this error and for not identifying it until today, or the remaining ballots could have been counted earlier. I want to emphasize that Maryland’s comprehensive precertification audit was designed to identify issues like this before an election is certified to ensure the accuracy of the results. It worked as intended.”

“I will finish reviewing the rest of the audit to ensure that there are no further discrepancies before I ask the Board of Elections to certify the results of the election. The Board will meet at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, August 12, and we will discuss the findings of our audit and the schedule for canvass and certification.”


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