The state election board filed notice yesterday that it intends to appeal a Baltimore circuit judge's ruling that city election officials could not legally purge more than 32,000 names from the voter rolls, as ordered by the panel.
The five-member State Administrative Board of Election Laws, polled by telephone, approved the proposal to appeal the case on a 3-1 vote, with one member unavailable. John R. Greiber, attorney for the state board, then filed the notice with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
On Tuesday, Judge Joseph H. H. Kaplan settled a lawsuit brought by the city election board against the state board, saying that purging the names would violate a state law -- modeled on the federal "motor-voter" law -- that became effective Jan. 1.
Under an earlier state law no longer in effect, the names should have been removed from city voter rolls last year, before the statewide elections. The voters should have been removed because they had not voted in the previous five years, but city election officials did not do it, citing a heavy workload.
In a related action, the state board did not approve a city board proposal for a "mail verification" of voters, despite Judge Kaplan's order to do so.