Serious Issues Surface in Maryland
November 2, 2006
As polling shows tightening of the state’s gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races, three new developments have occurred recently, compounding concerns raised by the problems that plagued the state’s September primary. First, the Washington Post reports that the Republican Party has told its poll watchers that their “most important duty” is to challenge individuals they believe ineligible, a move that Democrats and other observers say is a “voter suppression” effort. Second, the Baltimore Sun reports that at least ten poll workers received an apparently fraudulent phone call telling them that they had been reassigned to a different precinct, a scheme that if effective could prevent polling places from opening on time. Third, there have been widespread reports of shortages of available absentee ballots, a problem that might prompt a civil rights suit according to at least one account. These controversies and others that might emerge could serve as a predicate for attempting to contest a close vote.