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About 10,000 Prince George’s voters received the wrong sample ballots

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Approximately 10,000 voters in Prince George’s County received the wrong sample ballots for July’s primary elections, the county Board of Elections announced Tuesday.

Voters received sample ballots with incorrect candidate information for their district at a time when election workers already were concerned about confusion over a delayed primary and new boundary lines that were redrawn during the decennial redistricting process.

Sample ballots are not used to vote and contain information on voting locations and a list of candidates who will appear on voters’ actual mail-in or Election Day ballots.

The error arose from a new process Prince George’s County implemented this year to print and distribute sample ballots, said the county’s elections administrator, Alisha Alexander.

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The proof-checking process of the Board of Elections missed the incorrectly printed ballots, and voters in the 24th Legislative District alerted the board to errors in their sample ballots Monday. The board plans to add additional proof-checking steps before ballots are distributed in the future, Alexander said.

Voters who received the wrong sample ballots have not been contacted by the Board of Elections but corrected ballots are slated to be distributed late next week. Those with further questions should contact the Board of Elections at 301-341-7300.

Mail-in, early voting and Election Day ballots have been confirmed by the board to be accurate and correctly distributed. The state of Maryland is responsible for providing ballots for the primary election, Alexander said, a process that wouldn’t be affected by the issues discovered in Prince George’s County.

Alexander encouraged Prince George’s voters to double-check their sample ballots to ensure the district listed matches where they are registered to vote — and whether that district has changed after this year’s redistricting. (A full list of new legislative, congressional, council and school board districts for the county can be found on the Board of Elections website.)

“We are very committed to ensuring that everyone has the correct information in light of all the changes that have occurred,” Alexander said.

Early voting for Prince George’s primary elections begins July 7 and runs through July 14, with polls open on Election Day, July 19, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.