Frederick County Chief Electoral Officer Barbara Wagner confirmed Friday that the county board of elections voted unanimously earlier this week to turn voter information to the state’s attorney’s office.
Wagner did not identify the voter or in which jurisdiction he voted. She said the person voted in this year’s primary.
The state attorney’s office is responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of state election law.
The confirmation comes a day after Frederick County Democratic Central Committee Chairwoman Deborah Carter announced she had ‘credible information’ that the council had returned a ballot from County Council District 3 at the state attorney’s office. Carter did not specify where his information came from.
But she and other central committee members cited the information as part of the reason Frederick County Council Speaker MC Keegan-Ayer should be the party’s candidate for the District 3 general election. in November.
Keegan-Ayer lost the primary to challenger Jazmin Di Cola by a single vote. But a judge later disqualified Di Cola, after a Keegan-Ayer lawsuit alleged Di Cola did not live in District 3.
The Frederick County charter states that candidates must live in the district they seek to represent for at least one year prior to election or nomination.
Di Cola’s disqualification meant that the central committee had to choose a replacement. The committee called for nominations. Keegan-Ayer did not automatically qualify for the general election.
In her lawsuit, Keegan-Ayer argued that Di Cola’s vote – which she admitted to having voted for herself – should be thrown out, since Di Cola lived in Council District 1, not District 3. .
Di Cola voted at Monocacy Middle School on July 19, she testified at a court hearing on August 12. This would have been her polling place if she had still lived in her old house, but she had moved more than a month earlier.
Di Cola signed his voting authority card with his old address. She testified that she did not pay attention to the address on the card when she signed it and said that the electoral judge who recorded it did not ask her what her address was.
Had Di Cola’s vote been overturned — which Frederick County Board of Elections attorney Daniel Loftus said the board had no authority to do — the race between Keegan-Ayer and Di Cola would have was a tie.
And in the event of a tie primary, state law dictates that the local central party committee must choose one of the two tied candidates to advance to the overall.
In other words, since Di Cola had been disqualified, a tie would have meant the central committee had no choice but to give the nomination to Keegan-Ayer, Carter said.
The committee voted 6-5 to give Keegan-Ayer the nomination Thursday night. Five votes were for Tarolyn Thrasher.
There was no vote for Yewande A. Oladeinde, the third candidate for the vacant position.
State’s Attorney Charlton Howard said in an interview Friday that his office does not comment on the existence or status of any investigations or complaints unless charges are filed.
Howard said his office “looks at the circumstances and intent of the individual” when investigating allegations, including allegations of voter fraud or violations of election law.
The Frederick County Board of Elections voted on the sack during a closed portion of its meeting on Wednesday, Wagner said.
A letter to the district attorney outlining the circumstances was finalized on Friday, she added.
Carter said Friday that she had finalized documents to formalize Keegan-Ayer’s appointment.
Keegan-Ayer also had to submit a form, Carter said, and it had to be dropped off in person. But since Keegan-Ayer is attending the Association of Maryland Counties conference in Ocean City, officials have set up a “satellite office” for her there, Carter said.