Thousands more Maryland voters impacted by programming glitch, will have to cast provisional ballots

WASHINGTON — About 80,000 Maryland voters will have to cast provisional ballots in the state’s primary election Tuesday — a number that far exceeds earlier estimates of voters impacted by a computer programming glitch.

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration announced Monday evening that about 80,000 voters who changed their addresses or party affiliation through the agency’s online store or MVA kiosks will have to cast provisional ballots in Tuesday’s primary because of a technical glitch. Initially, 18,000 voters were thought to be impacted.

“In our sense of urgency to inform the public given the close proximity of the primary election, the numbers that were initially reported did not accurately reflect the total scope of the people impacted,” MDOT MVA Administrator Christine Nizer said in a statement.

As of Monday evening, the State Board of Elections had sent nearly 74,000 email messages to potentially impacted individuals who have email addresses on file with MDOT MVA encouraging them to contact the State Board of Elections to ensure their voter registration information is up to date and find their correct polling place.

Eligible voters will not be denied the right to vote as a result of this programming error, Nizer reassured.

Impacted voters should report to the polling place associated with their current address and vote using a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are counted in all Maryland elections.

Voters who have questions can contact the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-8683 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. or email or call their local election official. On Election Day, poll workers can answer voters’ questions and guide them through the provisional voting process.


Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

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