Maryland election officials moved to limit voter disenfranchisement in Montgomery County Maryland and Baltimore City by extending voting by an hour in both jurisdictions. The decision to extend voting in Baltimore came after a lawsuit filed by the NAACP through the Election Protection coalition, led by PFAW Foundation, the NAACP, and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law.
PFAW Foundation's Election Protection staff leapt into action in Montgomery County this morning when it became clear that an error by election officials prevented election machines countywide from working on time and requiring many voters to cast paper provisional ballots. PFAW Foundation publicized the Election Protection hotline through electronic media, and monitored the actions of county election officials. PFAW Foundation attorneys are working to ensure that the votes of all eligible voters cast provisionally will be counted. PFAW Foundation also worked on the effort in Baltimore through helping handle hotline calls and working with EP partners.
"These actions should help limit the damage caused by today's errors," said PFAW Foundation President Ralph G. Neas, "but they are only a first step to protecting Maryland voters. We must make sure that public officials are held accountable for fixing these systems and conducting elections that voters can count on to be fair and accurate."
Neas said problems in today's primary voting demonstrate the continued vulnerabilities and weaknesses in America's electoral systems. People For the American Way Foundation is engaged in a variety of voter protection efforts nationwide, including litigation against discriminatory voter registration and identification procedures.
Election Protection is a nonpartisan coalition effort to prevent, identify, and resolve barriers to voting.