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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 26, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 43
Some Maryland ballots missing marriage question
Section One
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Some Maryland ballots missing marriage question

What to do if you receive a defective Washington ballot

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Some absentee ballots being distributed in Maryland are missing the page with the state's marriage equality initiative, a Washington, D.C., TV station has learned.

'Maryland State Board of Elections Deputy Administrator Ross Goldstein confirmed that some absentee ballots in Montgomery and Prince George's counties are missing the second page,' where Question 6 on marriage is printed, reported WRC-TV (News 4), an NBC affiliate.

'He says the state is investigating what happened but stresses it's a small number,' News 4 continued.

COULD IT HAPPEN HERE?
Washington state election officials say they have not received any reports of ballot error, but stress that voters who receive erroneous or defective ballots should contact their county election officials immediately.

'The quickest way to solve the problem would be to call your county election office,' according to Dave Ammons, spokesperson for the Washington Secretary of State's office. 'Or you could call here, to our Elections Division.'

King County Elections can be reached at (206) 296-8683, and Snohomish County Elections is at (425) 388-3444. In Pierce County, voters should contact the County Auditor's office at (253) 798-7427. The Secretary of State's Elections Division can be reached at (360) 902-4180.

Since Washington state ballots are all one-page documents, missing pages would not be a problem, but voters could discover other errors. It's possible to have received a ballot for the wrong congressional or legislative district, for example.

'We have no reason to believe there were any printing errors in the ballots that were sent out in King County,' King County Elections Chief Communications Officer Kim van Ekstrom told SGN, 'but if anyone thinks they should be eligible to vote on something that is not on their ballot, they should call us.'

CHECK YOUR INFO
King County Elections also offers a Voter Guide feature on its website, van Ekstrom said. Enter your name and date of birth, 'and it pulls up all the ballot items you're eligible to vote for,' she explained. The guide is at www.kingcounty.gov/elections.

'Voters can also check to see if their registration information is accurate,' van Ekstrom added. Any errors or discrepancies should be reported to King County Elections, she said.

The Secretary of State's office recently mailed out more than one million postcards notifying eligible voters that they did not 'appear to be registered,' largely because name and date-of-birth information was inconsistent between the state's DMV and voter databases.

Thousands of the cards were reportedly sent in error because of birthdates entered incorrectly, or because of variations in name - 'Mike' instead of 'Michael,' for example.

Voters can visit the Secretary of State's website to determine if they are, in fact registered, and if not, they may register in person on or before October 29. King County in-person registration can be completed at the King County Elections office in Renton (919 S.W. Grady Way), or the King County Administration Building in Seattle (500 4th Ave., Room 311).

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