Groups Produce “Sample Ballots” Not Authorized by Democratic Party

by Genevieve Demos Kelley

Many Prince George’s County residents have received a mailer that contains what appears to be an official sample ballot for the Democratic party. Words in large letters across the top read, “2016 Democratic Sample Ballot; Take this with you when you vote.” The mailer even bears the Democratic logo: a red and blue donkey with white stars.

Predictably, voters are instructed to support the Democratic candidates for president, U.S. senator, and congressional representative. But voters are also told to vote for a particular slate of judicial candidates, as well as candidates for the Board of Education. This is highly misleading. School board elections and judicial elections are nonpartisan; candidates do not run as representatives of a political party.

Moreover, this sample ballot is not actually produced or authorized by the Democratic party. According to the fine print in the bottom left corner, the mailer is authorized by two committees: the Committee to Elect the Sitting Judge, a nonpartisan group advocating for election of the sitting judges of the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, and the Committee for ReCharge At-Large, a pro-Question-D group that supports adding two at-large candidates to the County Council.

2016-democratic-sample-ballot-1-1

In previous election years, the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee has voted to endorse a slate of candidates for the Board of Education. This year, however, the Committee voted against endorsing school board candidates. The Committee also decided not to endorse a position on Question D, which would add two at-large seats to the County Council. But the mailer tells Prince George’s County residents to vote “yes” on Question D, suggesting that the Democratic party officially supports the proposal.

Some residents have received mailers that are similar to the one pictured here, but which are authorized by the campaigns for Chris Van Hollen, Anthony Brown, and Steny Hoyer.

2 thoughts on “Groups Produce “Sample Ballots” Not Authorized by Democratic Party

  1. mccharness says:

    I am glad to hear that the democratic committee did not endorse Bd of Ed candidates. I was throughly put off by the sample ballot. As I was by the Post’s endorsement of Patricia Eubanks. It showed me that the reporter was not paying attention to the BOE, and just going with the County Executive’s recommendations of yes people. I am not giving any more credence to Post recommendations.

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  2. Kira Barker says:

    So many people had these “sample ballots” at the voting booths yesterday. It made me annoyed and sad at the same time that the majority of people in line felt the need to use these stupid, biased documents to vote. Just think for yourselves, people! Everyone should have received the official newsprint packet that explains all the questions in the mail, and if not, descriptions were written right on the ballot. I’m an independent, but voted democrat this time- similar to this document, but NO on D, and ABEL OLIVO for District 4. (By the way, I also observed that while Abel was there, in person, greeting voters and handing out fliers AND had lots of signage, there wasn’t 1 single sign for Patricia Eubanks- I looked! One more indication that she really can’t be bothered to do anything…)

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