Maryland county decertifies primary results, will rescan some ballots

The board was concerned that 100 ballots might have been accidentally counted twice.

Updated: August 11, 2022 - 12:08pm

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The Frederick County Board of Elections decertified the 2022 Maryland primary election results and rescanned mail-in and provisional ballots after finding a problem in vote totals.

The Frederick County Elections Board said it "discovered a discrepancy between the total number of votes in the certified results and the number of accepted mail-in and provisional ballots" while preparing for a recount of a county council election in a district, according to a press release from the county.

Frederick County Election Deputy Director Anthony Gutierrez told The Herald-Mail Media that the board was concerned the ballots could have been counted twice.

"Our initial review in doing this, prior to this action (of requesting a decertification), was about 100 ballots might possibly, inadvertently, due to human error, might have been scanned twice," Gutierrez said Monday.

"An on-going review suggests there were human errors in ballot accounting during the mail-in and provisional canvasses," the release stated. "As a result of this discovery, all ballot accounting will be reviewed."

The county board voted to decertify the primary results and rescan the necessary ballots. Officials also asked the Maryland Elections Board and the neighboring Howard County, Md., Elections Board to "review ballot accounting procedures and assist in rescanning of the ballots."

Frederick County Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer requested the recount after initial Democratic primary results showed that she was behind challenger Jazmin Di Cola by three votes. That recount was scheduled for Tuesday but canceled due to the discovered discrepancy. 

The board completed the recount on Wednesday, showing that more than 50,000 people voted in the July 19 primary in Frederick County.

The updated official results show that Di Cola won by one vote against Keegan-Ayer.