The latest word from Maryland

From Mary Kiraly:

Things are happening very quickly here. The
Washington Post has lots of coverage, new reporters
writing daily… they must be devoting a great deal of
staff to this.

The Post is leading with the story that Gov. Ehrlich
is suggesting that he may call a Special Session of
the Legislature to put a paper ballot in place for
November. The Democratic Speaker of the House and the
State Senate President, also a Democrat, are saying
that it will never happen, that they should be working
to “fix the current system.”

Two young reporters, Ann E. Marimow and Christian
Davenport, who had been covering the story in the
Metro Section, co-share the by line.

Meanwhile, two of the state’s largest counties, Prince
Georges and Montgomery (D.C. suburbs), continue to
count votes. PG County is still trying to account for
missing memory cards from Tuesday night. They have
been opening locked machines to look for them. Some
in secure bags have been found mingled with other
memory cards, whose data had been uploaded. In
Montgomery Co., the slow Provisional vote canvas
continues. I have been there for two days of the
count. It is absolutely inspiring to see the care
that is being taken to preserve and count every
voter’s effort to cast a ballot. And there were
reports, Primary night, that some voters had been
forced to find scraps of papers that night to write
down the names of the candidates they wanted to vote
for, when the precinct ran out of Provisional ballots.
No Provisional envelopes have been found with those
yet, as far as I know.

State Elections Administrator Linda Lamone was nearly
speechless in a TV clip I saw this morning. That is
not the normal situation. She was forced to appear
before Maryland’s State Board of Public Works
yesterday. Comptroller William Donald Shaffer, now in
his 80s and known for his inappropriate statements,
evidently would not let go of the one question he
wanted her to answer.

Mark Radke, Diebold’s spokesperson, and a former
staffer for (D) Barbara Mikulski, apparently in
Annapolis full-time these days, has had a tough job
trying to preserve the Maryland account. The scandal
that was the Primary election continues to evolve.

All of this has left a Congressional District 4 race
outcome up in the air. In that race, incumbent (D) Al
Wynn, who has a record of voting like a “Lieberman
Republican,” angered his constituents by supporting the
Iraq War. He has won by strong majorities in the
past; but had a virtual tied outcome against an
articulate opponent, Donna Edwards. District 4
straddles Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties, with
the majority in PG Co. Both candidates are African
American and Prince Georges County is the only
majority African American County in the country.

Keep in mind the Maryland slogan: America in
Miniature. Lots to talk about going into November.

Mary

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