Mailing Causes Consternation for Some Maryland Voters

State Board of Elections mails 8,000 Maryland Voters postcard citing voter registration problems.

A postcard mailed by the Maryland State Board of Elections has caused concern for some Maryland voters and increased work for local board of elections.

The post card, mailed last week, was part of an effort by the Maryland State Board of Elections to verify voter registration records.

Officials at the state board of elections were not immediately available for comment but Katie Brown, director of the Baltimore County Board of Elections, said the intention was to root out inconsistencies in the voter registrations.

"It was a good idea but it may have been bad timing," Brown said.

Martha Thaniel received one of the mailings last week.

"I've been voting for 50 years and I've never had a problem," said Thaniel, a 68-year-old Towson resident. "I was really upset when I got this. I've been registered for 50 years and I intend to vote in November."

Brown said in many cases the problems discovered in the records verification were small issues like the use of a middle initial on one record but not on another. In other cases, the issues were more serious, such as a non-matching birthday.

The more serious issues require voters to re-register. The deadline for registering or re-registering to vote is Oct. 16.

It's not known how many of the county's nearly 500,000 registered voters recieved a postcard from the state board of elections.

The state board may have mailed out as many as 8,000 to registered voters across the state, according to MarylandReporter.com.

There are more than 3.5 million registered voters in Maryland, according to the most recent state board of elections statistics from August.

The mailings caused an increase in phone calls to the Baltimore County Board of Elections, Brown said.

"It was crazy last week with all the calls and we're getting some this week," Brown said. "People were very upset. Most of the feedback from staff was that these were simple issues and a new registration was not needed."

Thaniel said she never found out what triggered the post card for her but she did not have to re-register to vote. Not that she would have been deterred.

"Even if [the board of elections] didn't say it was 'OK' I was going up there to vote," Thaniel said. "They were just going to have to stop the line."

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