Marriage Question Missing from Maryland Absentee Ballots

Some absentee ballots did not include the page with Question 6, but state officials say the number is small.

BY Julie Bolcer

October 24 2012 11:27 AM ET

Absentee voters in two Maryland counties surrounding Washington, D.C. may find their ballots missing the page that would allow them to vote on Question 6, the referendum on the marriage equality law, but state election officials insist the number of affected ballots is small.

NBC 4 reports on a tip from a voter who said his absentee ballot “arrived in the mail missing an entire page.” That prevented him from voting on initiatives including Question 6.

An official with the Maryland State Board of Elections told NBC 4 the problem of the missing page has affected ballots in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The official said the state is investigating but the number of ballots involved is small.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the coalition working to uphold the referendum, issued a statement on the problem Wednesday.

“We’re looking into this matter and taking it seriously,” said campaign manager Josh Levin. “Every registered voter must have the same opportunity to participate in the electoral process. We're confident the board of elections will get to the bottom of this quickly and resolve it."

Maryland voters are urged to make sure they received a complete ballot. Voters should call (800) 222-8683 to request a new ballot if theirs is missing a second page. 

News of the missing absentee ballot page follows reports of an error in the English-to-Spanish translation of Question 6, which may cause some of the state's Spanish-speaking voters to vote the opposite of their intended vote.

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