Ballots for the June 26 primary will not be reprinted to put Ervin’s name in place of Kamenetz

It appears we will not have new ballots with Valerie Ervin listed on the top of the ticket for Governor…here is information from the Washington Post:

The fledgling campaign of Valerie Ervin to be Maryland’s Democratic nominee for governor hit a bump Friday when elections officials said ballots for the June 26 primary will not be reprinted to put Ervin’s name in place of her deceased running mate.

Ervin issued a statement calling reports of the decision into question.

“After speaking with the Maryland Attorney General, it appears reports around who will be on the ballot are unfounded,” Ervin said. “We have asked for, and are awaiting, a final decision on this matter.”

But a spokeswoman for Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) said his office’s position matched that of elections officials: the 3.5 million ballots for the primary would not be changed.

“As it stands right now, the ballots have already been printed, and there’s no time to reprint,” spokeswoman Raquel Coombs said.

Coombs confirmed Ervin had reached out to Frosh but said he referred Ervin to an assistant attorney general who had not yet connected with her Friday afternoon. Frosh has separated himself from the issue because he has endorsed Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III in the primary, Coombs said.

In response to a request for clarification about her original statement, Ervin, 61, issued another.

“That is correct — my name will be on the ballot at the very least under the Kamenetz line,” her second statement said. “That said, we at the Valerie for Maryland Campaign sincerely believe that since the law allows me to run for Governor, we have the right to new ballots.”

Here is another source (MyMcMedia) with more information:

Ballots for the June 26 primary will not be reprinted replacing Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s name with Valerie Ervin, an official with the Maryland State Board of Elections said Friday.

“The state administrator [Linda Lamone] determined there is not sufficient time to reprint the ballots in advance of the primary election,” said Donna Duncan, assistant deputy administrator for election policy. “We will be working with local boards of elections to implement appropriate measures to inform voters of the change in candidacy.”

Kamenetz, who was seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, died last week of a heart attack. Ervin, his running mate, took his place at the top of the ticket, she announced Thursday.

A former Montgomery County Council member, Ervin named Marisol Johnson, a former member of the Baltimore County Board of Education, as her running mate.

Duncan said about 8,000 absentee ballots had been sent out. Any vote for Kamenetz will be recorded as a vote for Ervin, she said.

The state board will determine in the next two or three days how voters will be informed about the change in candidacy, Duncan said.

“It may be notice in each of the voting booths, at early voting centers,” she said.

Early voting in Maryland runs from June 14-21. Montgomery County has 11 early voting sites. They can be found here.

Update:

Friday afternoon, Ervin released this statement:

“That is correct — my name will be on the ballot at the very least under the Kamenetz line. That said, we at the Valerie for Maryland Campaign sincerely believe that since the law allows me to run for Governor, we have the right to new ballots. Any champion of Democracy who wants Maryland voters to decide this election should want our Ervin Johnson ticket on the Democratic Primary ballot.”

I bolded the really important aspect of this information…a vote for Kamenetz will be recorded as a vote for Ervin on absentee ballots sent out…this is sure to cause problems.

One last little bit of information from the Baltimore Sun about the money situation of the campaign:

Resolving the questions about how voters will opt for her in June is just one of the challenges Ervin faces in making a late entry to the race. She is not well known outside Montgomery County and likely won’t be able to access $2 million in campaign funds Kamenetz had raised. She is recruiting her own staff rather than relying on his team.

Ervin filed a campaign finance disclosure on Friday showing she has $164,000 to work with. Almost all of that was money she raised before Kamenetz died May 10. Like other gubernatorial teams, Kamenetz and Ervin maintained separate campaign accounts, potentially allowing donors to give more money before reaching the legal cap. But that structure now means Ervin doesn’t have access to money donated to Kamenetz’s account.

Ervin’s campaign did not respond to questions about the ballot or her finances, but in a post Friday evening on Twitter, she wrote: “Any champion of democracy who wants Maryland voters to decide this election should want our Ervin Johnson ticket on the Democratic primary ballot.”

She told the website Maryland Matters in an interview published Friday that she hoped to meet with Lamone and get legal advice about Kamenetz’s funds.

Ervin’s new report shows that in the last month, Ervin accepted more than $95,000 in campaign donations, many of them from companies that have a history of being generous to Kamenetz’s campaigns.

Ten of the donations totaling $38,000 came from businesses sharing a post office box in Timonium. The names of many of the companies match up with properties owned by Hill Management.

Ervin’s campaign also accepted $6,000 — the maximum — from Edward St. John, chairman of St. John Properties. Unite Here Local 25, a union for hotel workers that endorsed Ervin and Kamenetz, also gave $6,000 to Ervin’s account.

Ervin’s account also received $6,180 from a joint account that Kamenetz and Ervin formed this spring. That transaction was dated Tuesday.

Ervin has suggested that she’s hoping to get support from Emily’s List, a national group that backs Democratic women who support abortion rights.

The organization won’t yet say if it will back Ervin.

“We are looking at this race and keeping an eye on the new developments,” said Kristen Hernandez, campaign communications manager for Emily’s List. “We’re always excited to see more women running for office, especially Democratic women.”

$164,000 is not a lot of money for a campaign for Governor…even this late in the game. Emily’s list could be a boost for the campaign if they decide to throw money at this race…but will they? Also…did you see this above…and does anyone else think that it looks a bit shady “Ten of the donations totaling $38,000 came from businesses sharing a post office box in Timonium. The names of many of the companies match up with properties owned by Hill Management.”?

Stay tuned folks…this is sure to get more interesting.

Scott E

 

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