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Tuesday's Primary: 3 Maryland Polls Close Late After Delay

Polls have closed statewide in Maryland after a confusing primary day. 

The doors closed nearly everywhere at 8 p.m. Tuesday. State elections officials said three Baltimore precincts would remain open an extra hour because voting started late there. State officials said that would delay the release of early voting results statewide for an hour, as well, until all voting ended.

Check here for real-time election results.

In a statement, the State Board of Elections said poll workers in the precincts "were unable to access the secure room where the voting equipment and supplies were stored." This caused a tardy start of balloting at the Baltimore IT Academy.

Overall, the outcome of races might be delayed because of an issue with voter registration that election officials said could affect as many as 80,000 voters. Those voters tried to change information about their registration through the Motor Vehicle Administration, but the MVA didn't transmit the information to election officials.

Poll workers were to instruct those voters to use provisional ballots, and election officials said they would likely not know until Friday how many such ballots were issued.

Without knowing the scope of the outstanding ballots, some races may not be able to be called Tuesday night.

Voters headed to the polls Tuesday to determine candidates for November's election.

More than half a dozen Democratic candidates were vying to become the challenger who will run against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan this fall.

Candidates were also chosen for Montgomery and Prince George's County executives, the state's eight U.S. House seats and one of Maryland's U.S. Senate seats. In addition, all 188 seats in the General Assembly will be decided this year.

Attorney General Brian Frosh and Comptroller Peter Franchot are unchallenged in the primary. Their Republican opponents, Craig Wolf and Anjali Phukan, also are unchallenged. 

Most polling places were open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Maryland State Board of Elections said a court ordered precincts 27-28, 27-29 and 27-35 to remain open an additional hour.

No Eligible Voters Would Be Denied Right to Vote Despite Error, Officials Say 

A Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) computer error led to about 80,000 people not being properly registered to vote in Tuesday's primary, but no eligible voters were being denied the right to vote, officials said.

Jane Green, a 64-year-old retired federal worker in Annapolis who voted Tuesday said she had not heard of the voter registration error.

"As long as it's not the Russians, I just put that down with, you know, things happening," she said.

However, state transportation and elections officials say affected voters would need to verify their voter registration information using the state elections board website to cast provisional ballots Tuesday.

A Maryland Senate panel will hold a hearing next month into the error, a state senator said Sunday.

State elections officials say the problem related to changes to voters' addresses and party affiliations made through the MVA's website or kiosks between April 22, 2017 and June 5, 2018. If the changes were made without buying a driver's license, ID card or other item, they were not submitted to the elections board for processing.

The Board of Elections has sent emails to nearly 74,000 potentially affected voters who have email addresses on file with the MVA, according to an MVA statement sent Monday evening. Voters are encouraged to verify their voter registration information using the state election board's voter look-up website, elections.maryland.gov.

If the website doesn't show a voter's current address, he or she can use the board's polling place locator to find the right voting location for his or her new address. The address shown in the polling place locator is where that voter should go on Tuesday. Then the voter can use the provisional voting process to cast a ballot on Tuesday.

According to the MVA's Monday evening statement, voters can contact Maryland's Board of Elections at 800-222-8683 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., email info.SBE@maryland.gov or call their local election official.

"For questions on election day, there will be trained poll workers to answer voter's [sic] questions and guide them through the provisional voting process," the statement said.

CORRECTION, June 26, 2018, 7:32 a.m.: A previously updated version of this story did not accurately reflect the number of emails sent to potentially affected voters.

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