Elections Board audit finds ineligible voters, security issues

ANNAPOLIS (Nov. 3, 2023)—An audit released Friday, Nov. 3, found that the Maryland Board of Elections did not report for more than a year its findings that people voted or tried to vote more than once in the 2020 general election—well after the results were certified, according to The Office of Legislative Audits.

The state elections board identified 134 voters who voted more than once and 1,371 voters who attempted to vote multiple times in the 2020 general election, but it did not report these individuals to the The Office of State Prosecutor until April 2022, the audit said. The audit is part of a routine physical compliance audit of the SBE conducted every three to four years.

"Definitely the (reports) for the 2020 general election were significantly late and I think they indicated that was due to staff turnover within their office," said Matthew Streett, an assistant director for the Compliance and Performance Audit Division of the OLA. "They reported them after the election results were certified."

In the July 2022 primary election, the audit found, the elections board identified four individuals who successfully voted multiple times and 263 voters who attempted to vote multiple times, referring the information to the state prosecutors office in a "timely" manner.

Election integrity has become a high-profile issue with former President Donald Trump and his supporters repeatedly challenging the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

The audit also noted that the elections board could enhance its procedures to fully identify deceased or duplicate voters. The audit identified 2,426 "potentially deceased individuals" whose voter registrations were active and 327 individuals with potential duplicate voter registrations.

"We're just pointing out areas where they can improve," said Streett. "The information they're getting from the Maryland Department of Health was not fully complete and accurate, so they were missing out on a certain pocket of deceased individuals."

The Health Department could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The audit also found deficiencies with the state elections board's security and control over its information systems, but did not go into detail for security reasons. The department's response to those concerns also was redacted from the report.

The elections board did agree to implement the recommendations, but disagreed with several findings.

The State Board of Elections could not be reached for comment on Friday. The current Elections Administrator Jared DeMarinis took the helm in June 2023 after long-time administrator Linda Lamone retired.

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