Four polling places in Baltimore are staying open an extra hour, until 9 p.m., due to delays in opening, a judge ruled Tuesday evening.
The Senate campaign of Rep. Donna Edwards filed an emergency complaint against the Board of Elections in the city of Baltimore, asking for a two-hour extension of voting across the city. Instead, Circuit Court Judge Althea Handy extended voting in four precincts where opening delays exceeded 45 minutes.
Voting in Maryland is scheduled to take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. But according to Edwards’s campaign, six polling places in heavily African American West Baltimore opened 30 to 45 minutes late. At Beth Am Synagogue, her campaign says, malfunctioning polling places caused an hour-long delay.
Edwards, facing Rep. Chris Van Hollen in a competitive Democratic primary for the seat held by retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D), is counting on heavy support in Baltimore.
Lawyers for her campaign write that Edwards is “threatened with irreparable injury... since many voters will lose their right to vote.”
The complaint includes declarations from two voters — one of them state Del. Jill Carter — who say they saw voters leave polling places because of the delays.
The polling sites are John Eager Howard Eelemtary School, Beth-Am Synagogue, Oliver multi-purpose center and Pimlico Elementary School.
Among the lawyers filing the complaint on behalf of the campaign are Billy Murphy, who represents the family of Freddie Gray, whose death in police custody led to protests and unrest, and Aisha Braveboy, a state delegate.