Early voting in Maryland, which ends Thursday, has been setting a record pace. About 70% more Marylanders voted early this time, compared to 2012, and there are still more than three million registered voters in the state who are eligible to cast their ballots on Election Day next Tuesday. Once again, Maryland's new voting system will be put to the ultimate test. Its debut in last April’s primary elections was bumpy, especially in Baltimore, where reports of missing and miscounted ballots led the State Board of Elections to decertify the initial results, before re-certifying them again later on. Broken ballot scanners, and a shortage of election judges also made voting difficult for many.
Today we’ll examine how Maryland’s new voting system is meeting the challenges the second time out. We're joined in the studio this afternoon by the man who has been in charge of elections in Baltimore City for ten years. Armstead Jones came under criticism, including calls for him to resign, after problems at the polls surfaced last spring.
Nikki Baines Charlson is the Deputy State Administrator for Elections, the number two official in the agency that has overall responsibility for Maryland's statewide voting system. She joins Tom on the phone from Annapolis.
Also joining the conversation in the studio is John T. Willis. He is the former Maryland Secretary of State, and the executive in residence at the University of Baltimore School of Public & International. Affairs. He has studied the history of Maryland elections, and he has trained election judges.