The campaign manager for a Republican up for a local House of Delegates seat accused Democrats of playing “dirty tricks” with a misprint on a recent mailer.
The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee last week sent out sample ballot urging county voters to select Democrats when they go to the polls on Tuesday.
The District 16 sample ballot, however, omits District 16 Republican candidates such as Rose Li and instead lists the Republicans running for House of Delegates in District 15. Above, the names of Democrats Bill Frick, Ariana Kelly and Marc Korman have check marks.
“This omission is, of course, an action aimed at deceiving voters,” said John Arnold, campaign manager for Li.
“Mere days before election day, and with a small campaign that works hard on the ground — old style retail politics that builds trust with the people and does not use TV or radio — it will be hard to fight this unconscionable tactic,” Arnold said.
Kevin Walling, chair of the Central Committee that sent out the mailers, said the misprint was an honest mistake.
“The misprint with the Republican candidates for the House of Delegates in District 16, was exactly that…a misprint,” Walling wrote in an email. “There are over 30 variations of the Democratic Sample Ballot that we print because of the overlap of congressional, legislative, council districts and our designer made a mistake.”
Walling’s claim would seem to be backed up by similar misprints made on sample ballots for other districts, including one that omitted a Democratic State Senate candidate.
David Lublin, author the Seventh State politics blog, pointed out that some MCDCC sample ballots for District 19 mistakenly replaced Sen. Roger Manno’s name with Sen. Rich Madaleno, who is running for reelection in District 18.
Lublin reported that in District 16, the sample ballot mistakenly replaced Korman’s biography with Del. Aruna Miller, who’s running for reelection in District 15.
In the District 18 sample ballot, Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez’s name was misspelled.
The MCDCC does not represent individual Democrats running for office, but some local Democratic campaigns will donate money to the group for outreach efforts such as the sample ballots.
Li, the Bethesda Republican looking for an upset in a heavily Democratic district, is one of the few Montgomery County Republicans who has run a viable campaign.
Arnold, Li’s campaign manager, said he plans to do a trace through the Postal Service to find out where the sample ballots were mailed from in order to find out who provided the info and sign-off and the wrong District 16 info.