60 in Howard voted improperly, officials say

False local addresses found in affidavits submitted in November

April 28, 2001|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Howard County election officials have referred for prosecution the names of 60 people who voted in November but who officials say used false local addresses.

County election administrator Robert J. Antonetti Sr. said he sent the names to Howard State's Attorney Marna McClendon after mail he sent to addresses that the voters reported in signed affidavits was returned as undeliverable.

"They voted improperly, where they had no right to vote," he said. All the names came from a list of "inactive" voters, people for whom mail had been returned but who later showed up to vote. They were allowed to vote after signing the affidavits.

State elections administrator Linda Lamone said Howard County's action was not unusual, except in the number of names. Montgomery County reported three similar cases, Allegany County had three, and Anne Arundel County reported four, she said. Other counties are still examining their voting rolls.

The names of such voters are supposed to be turned over to the state board for referral to the state special prosecutor's office, she said.

Frank Lupashunski, a former chairman of Howard County's elections board, said reporting names for prosecution isn't unusual in Howard, though enforcement is usually weak.

"We caught some of these people red-handed," but "nothing was ever pursued" by legal authorities, he said. Once, he said, the board identified a physician who used a Howard County address to vote but later avoided jury duty by claiming a different address and saying he wasn't a registered voter.

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