Voter Roll Irregularities Alleged in Baltimore County
Deceased voters, duplicate and invalid addresses found on Baltimore County voter rolls, according to Election Integrity Maryland.
The voter rolls of Baltimore County contain the registrations of deceased voters as well as voters registered to duplicate and invalid addresses, according to a Maryland voter fraud watchdog organization.
Election Integrity Maryland Friday submitted a challenge to 828 voter registrations because of alleged irregularities.
"We're bringing these to [the county Board of Elections] in the hopes it will make it easier for them to remove these registrations," said Cathy Kelleher, president of the non-profit, non-partisan organization.
"We're trying to help the system," she said.
Kelleher said that the irregularities, in some cases, could allow a voter to cast ballots in two different locations.
Election Integrity Maryland initially reviewed 1,700 voter registrations in the county. There are 492,288 registered voters in Baltimore County as of the last report issued in April by the State Board of Elections.
Kelleher said the irregularities could open the door to election fraud but said her group could not prove if such fraud had already occurred.
"We don't have access to the kind of records that could prove that happened," said Kelleher.
Katie Brown, director of elections in Baltimore County, said she the packet from Election Integrity Maryland was delivered Friday afternoon to her office but she had not had a chance to review it.
"We're going to verify everything they gave us," Brown said Friday night. "I'm not just going to put this away some where."
Brown said the watchdog group "uses information from sites were not legally allowed to use."
The elections director said confirmation cards will be sent to voters if there is a concern related to an irregularity. Voters who respond will have their information updated.
Voters who do not respond, however, will not be struck from the voter rolls.
"I wouldn't want to take away someone's right to vote if (the allegation) is not so," Brown said.
An audit of the 2008 election performed by the State Board of Elections discovered that as many as 200 people in Maryland intentionally voted twice—a more than 30 percent increase over the 2006 election.
More than a third of those came from Baltimore City and Baltimore County, according to the March 2009 report.
Elections officials pointed out at the time that the total number of duplicate voters represented just 1/100th of 1 percent of the 2.6 million votes cast in the 2008 presidential election.
All of the 2008 cases were referred to the Maryland State Prosecutor. None were prosecuted.
In February 2010, then-State Prosecutor Robert Rohrbaugh wrote in a letter to the Maryland State Senate that his office was unable to prosecute such cases because of budget and staff limitations.
Election Integrity Maryland has about 75 trained volunteers that use a computer program that identifies potentially problematic registrations. Typically, the program identifies addresses that have multiple registered voters that do not share last names and appear to have no relationship to one another.
Researchers for the group then review those individual registrations in an attempt to identify irregularities, according to Kelleher.
Earlier this year, Elections Integrity Maryland reviewed 7,000 voter registrations in Montgomery County and alleged that 5,400 of those contained irregularities similar to those found in Baltimore County.
"They haven't really given us a substantial response," Kelleher said of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
There are 582,607 registered voters in Montgomery County and a total of more than 3.5 million in Maryland.
Kelleher said her group plans to review each registration.
"This is an ongoing process," Kelleher said. "We'll be doing this for years to come."