The Washington Post

Complaint by Del. Jon Cardin accuses colleagues of voter intimidation at polling site

The tight race for Maryland attorney general continues to heat up, with Del. Jon S. Cardin’s campaign accusing two fellow lawmakers of harassing voters outside a Baltimore early voting site, and also lodging a complaint against a political action committee that is supporting Cardin’s chief opponent for not revealing its donors.

The campaign filed for a restraining order against Marylanders for Integrity in Government, a group supporting Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery). The PAC was fined for submitting its campaign finance records three days late, according to the state Board of Elections.

In addition, in a letter to the state prosecutor, Cardin (D) said one of his campaign volunteers was “verbally harassed” Thursday by Del. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City) and Sen. Lisa Gladden (D-Baltimore City) at the League for People with Disabilities on East Coldspring Lane in Baltimore.

The prosecutor’s office could not confirm the existence of the complaint because investigations are confidential, said Chief Investigator James Cabezas. But a copy of the letter to prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt was given to The Washington Post.

“In particular, our volunteers were told to leave the vicinity of the early voting center because Ms. McIntosh and Ms. Gladden did not like an opponent of theirs to have representation at early voting,” the letter said. Cardin alleged that said both Baltimore City lawmakers also removed or directed their volunteers to remove Cardin’s yard signs.

Cardin maintains a lead in the attorney general’s race, according to a Washington Post poll this month, but his support has remained stagnant at 26 percent while Frosh’s has tripled. Del. Aisha N. Braveboy (D-Prince George’s) is in third place, according to the poll. Frosh also outraised Cardin in the last reporting period, state finance reports show.

Both McIntosh and Gladden, who are supporting Frosh in the attorney general race, denied intimidating voters and said the allegations were the machinations of a candidate desperate to win.

McIntosh said she was at the Baltimore polling place because it lies in her district but never saw or had contact with Cardin campaign workers. She said she could not recall any incidents at the polling place that could have led to the complaint.

“I’m almost speechless because there is not one grain of truth to those accusations,” she said. “This is over the top. I, and no one on my team, even touched Cardin’s signs.”

Gladden said she was never at the polling place and does not know where it is located, and had no knowledge of the behavior described in the complaint.

“They probably mixed me up with another black woman,” said Gladden, who is African Amerian. She said the only early voting site she visited was in the 43rd legislative district, which she represents.

“I don’t believe in hurting candidates at all,” Gladden said, adding that the most she had done for the attorney general race was send out a district-wide mailer touting Frosh. “It’s hard enough to run a race but don’t make stuff up.”

Both McIntosh and Gladden are facing challengers in their respective districts in next Tuesday’s primary.

The Cardin campaignbegan examining the Marylanders for Integrity in Government PAC this week, after the group released an online video attack ad criticizing Cardin.

The committee had not reported its donors, as required by law. After the Cardin campaign filed a complaint, the group said it had raised $150,000, including contributions from government worker unions like the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees International, according to state records.

“I would hope that Senator Frosh would repudiate the illegal actions of his supporters,” campaign manager Andy Carton said. The PAC did not respond to requests for comment.

The complaints follows another report of candidate misconduct at an early voting site in Prince George’s, where two opposing campaigns accused one another of intimidating voters. The incident is under investigation.

Arelis Hernández covers Prince George’s County as part of The Washington Post's local staff.



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