Frederick Co. decertifies primary results after vote count mismatch

Election officials in Frederick County, Maryland, say they are decertifying the results of last month’s primary election and will rescan all mail-in and provisional ballots after discovering apparent “human errors” in the ballot accounting process.

The discovery of the errors came as election officials were preparing for a recount in the primary race for a County Council seat that was decided by just three votes.

“While preparing for a recount of the County Council District 3 election results, the Frederick County Board of Elections discovered a discrepancy between the total number of votes in the certified results and the number of accepted mail-in and provisional ballots,” a statement from the board said.

“An on-going review suggests there were human errors in ballot accounting during the mail-in and provisional canvasses. As a result of this discovery, all ballot accounting will be reviewed.”

In addition, the board said it will rescan all mail-in ballots and provisional ballots “out of an abundance of caution.”

The State Board of Elections and neighboring Howard County’s Board of Elections will assist in re-scanning ballots and help review Frederick County’s ballot accounting procedures.

In a separate statement, the state board said it was first notified of the issue on Saturday and “immediately started with the Frederick County Board of Elections to provide the equipment and support necessary to conduct the rescan.”

The extremely close District 3 council race pitted Frederick County Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer against challenger Jazmin Di Cola, a community activist. According to the certified results, Di Cola bested Keegan-Ayer in the primary by three votes — 2,300 votes to 2,297.

Tight race in the District 3 council race.

Keegan-Ayer, who was first elected to the council in 2014, requested a recount late last week, according to the Frederick News-Post. It was to be the county’s first recount since 2010, according to the newspaper.

Now, the recount, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, is on hold until after ballots are re-scanned and the results are re-certified. Re-scanning is scheduled to begin Aug. 10 at 8:30 a.m. at the Frederick County Board of Elections Office on Montevue Lane in Frederick. The public is welcome to watch.

In neighboring Montgomery County, election officials finally finished vote counting Sunday in the closely watched race for county executive. The results have not yet been certified, but a recount is likely.

The vote counting in Montgomery County was delayed this year due to the large number of mail-in ballots sent in by voters. Statewide, there were more than 345,000 mail-in votes cast. Under Maryland law, local boards of elections were barred from tabulating mail-in ballots before the July 19 primary.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up