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Sample Ballots in Pr. George's Misidentify Candidates
In addition to Ehrlich and Steele, the ballots also list Republicans John A. Giannetti Jr., Ron Miller, Kenneth Brown and Antoinette Jarboe-Duley, all candidates for the state legislature.
Markle, a Democrat, said if he had known they would be campaigning and passing out literature for Republicans, he would have declined the offer. "I know what's going on in Pennsylvania, but not Maryland," he said in a telephone interview from the polling place at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Suitland.
Markle was told he would be paid $100, plus two meals for the day. He also passed out the fliers inaccurately reporting the prominent Democrats' endorsement of Ehrlich and Steele.
Johnson, who held a news conference today, said he received numerous calls to his campaign headquarters asking if he had switched parties after some confused residents received the flier.
Johnson said he was also outraged that poor people from Philadelphia were hauled into Prince George's County, most unaware of what they were doing or who they were doing it for.
"I understand that people need jobs," Johnson said. "But put people in training, not just bus them from out of state and pay them less than minimum wage."
Jonathan Keel, another worker from Philadelphia handing out the sample ballot, said he and other recruits were tricked by the campaigns.
"We were hoodwinked," said Keel, who added that he was unemployed. He was stationed at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt. "We were just hired to do a job," he said. "We're broke. We're in a terrible situation. There's no way out of here."
Del. Melony Griffith (D-Prince George's), who was outside the polling place in Suitland when she met Markle, denounced the tactics.
"It's a very sad day in Prince George's when politicians have to stoop to misleading, race-baiting and hate campaigning," she said.
Voters and other officials also decried the sample ballot.
"It's an absolute lie and it's very offensive," said Del. Anne Healey (D-Prince George's), who saw the ballot at a polling place in Hyattsville. "They put them in with the rest of us as though we've endorsed them. It's too late for us to do anything except tell people."