80,000 Marylanders must use provisional ballot to vote due to glitch

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Around 80,000 Maryland voters will have to cast their vote on a provisional ballot for the primary election due to a computer glitch, officials say.

It was originally thought that only around 19,000 voters would be affected by this glitch, but the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration says that number has increased by more than 61,000.

The Maryland State Board of Elections says they never received information regarding address changes from tens of thousands of Marylanders. Some of those voters had also switched their party affiliations.

Officials say the glitch affected voters who changed their address using MVA’s website and self-service kiosks between April 22, 2017 and June 5, 2018, but did not purchase a driver’s license, ID card, vehicle registration or title or other items. The Board of Elections claims it never received those changes and blamed a computer glitch.

“Late this afternoon, we learned from the Motor Vehicle Administration that there are over 61,000 more voters affected by the computer programming error,” said Linda Lamone, State Administrator of Elections. “These additional voters have been notified and asked to vote at the voting location for their address and vote a provisional ballot.”

Lamone said the board has reached out to election officials in every county and confirmed there are enough provisional voting supplies to handle the increase in provisional ballots.

The provisional voting process has been in use since 2002 and is a simple way to update an address, vote the correct ballot, and have that ballot count.

Officials say no eligible voter will be denied the right to vote.

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