In one of the most fraudulent election in the history of Prince George’s County and Maryland, the primary election on June 26th, saw a sexual predator and a convicted robber get elected to public office in an organized scheme involving “official ballot sample papers”.
Calvin Hawkins who was widely mentioned appears to have been part of the illegal activity which saw the community duped in order to have him and his close associates elected for public offices in Maryland.
Thousands of voters in many parts of the state of Maryland received “official democratic sample ballots” or voting materials which swayed and duped the voters to elect wrong candidates in public offices throughout the state.
In Prince George’s County for example, “thousands of residents received “Official Democratic Sample Ballots” in their mailboxes multiple times during a DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, which created voter confusion. Many voters were tricked into believing the certain candidates were no longer Democrats, no longer running, or running for different positions. This practice was created to confuse voters into believing that certain candidates were supported by the Democratic party when all candidates are Democrats in a Democratic Primary,” according to a petition created by Attorney Wala Blegay.
“The party should not be involved in purposely confusing Democratic voters. It is time for this practice to end.” “Sign this petition to ensure that we protect our community from misleading information,” the petition concludes.
The misleading and incorrect pamphlets listed a number of candidates on the ballots which misled the public in many cases stating they were the “correct endorsement by democratic party”. As a result of this deliberate illegal activity, the Prince George’s County elected the wrong candidates for public office in many places including a convicted robber. One citizen in Greenbelt Maryland who did not want to be identified stated that, “If Prince George’s County voters used the erroneous sample ballots to cast their vote, they may have inadvertently voted for the wrong candidates.”
The sample ballots, pamphlets or booklets that listed each candidate’s name and the corresponding position to fill in on the actual ballot, were mailed to thousands of voters ahead of the June 26th, election. It’s not clear how many of them were affected but it’s believed to be statewide. “We’re reaching out to the people who may have been affected,” several candidates stated on facebook.
As a result of this official misconduct involving elected officials, reaction has been swift on social media with candidates who lost unfairly calling for reforms within the Maryland democratic party.
Below are some of the reactions as posted on facebook and twitter:
According to information received Mr. Tommi Makila for Maryland Senate, He states: “Prince George’s Democrats: As we go to war on these “official sample ballots,” I would like to collect copies of the ballots from all Prince George’s County legislative districts. I’m primarily interested in these “Official Democratic Sample Ballots” that the establishment used; to my knowledge they all used the same design and layout, as seen in this District 27 version of the ballot. Since we are not far from the election, I’m hoping many of you still have a copy of the sample ballot your received. If so, please take a picture of both sides of the ballot. You can then post the pictures in a comment on this thread, send them to me via private message on FB, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (As of now I only have the District 27 ballot, so please send pics from all other Prince George’s districts.)”
Tommi Makila for Maryland Senate: “You can see the authority lines in the top picture, so officially those are the entities/candidates behind this. This is standard practice in Prince George’s County for the incumbents/establishment to do. That is how they are able to dictate who gets elected to what office. Typically the State Senator (in my case Mike Miller) decides who gets on the ballot.”
According to Wala Blegay: “It time that we address the misleading “Official Democratic Ballot” in Prince George’s County that was purposely design to trick voters. It is shameful that every major candidate including long-standing elected officials were involved in creating a document to purposely trick voters into assuming that certain candidates were “chosen” by the Democratic party.
We cannot let this continue. I watched countless voters reach out to me in confusion as why certain candidates including myself was not on the Democratic Ballot. I even witnessed poll workers for candidates instruct people that this was an Official Democratic Ballot.
Kathleen Matthews we ask for you to investigate and ensure that rules are implemented to avoid this confusion or purposeful intent to trick voters.
All Democratic Central Committee members should be focused on addressing this issue instead of turning a blind eye.”
Arthur Jackson “You Are NextGenDems not by age but by desire in a fair and just county where our Schools Educate,Small Business Owners of Color are involved in Major Economic Devrlopment Projects, and a County where the political playing field is even.”
Kent A. Roberson: “Wala Blegay talkn right! If you can only win by tricks and not doing any work in the community, then you didn’t win at all. They elected the WRONG ONE, BUT THEY GOT THE RIGHT ONE!!! #NewLeadership #NewSeason”
Sarahia Benn Wala Blegay: “the same thing was implemented against me. Worse Kathleen Mathews they utilized the central committee to advocate against me, paid volunteers to say the candidates highlighted were black when all the candidates weren’t, and said this was an official Democratic Party ballot, and a long list of infractions and personal attacks. This is why no one trusts the party in Harford County. We have 25k dem registered voters and not even 28% participate because they believe the entire system is rigged! I am still the people’s champ! My supporters and the people in general are beyond upset! They are wondering why you Kathleen Matthews are supporting establishment candidates and stat quo loser candidates that engage in such immoral, divisive, and disgusting tactics and behaviors. And you all wonder why no one supports the party?”
Collin J. Foster: “As a St. Mary’s County Democratic Central Committee Member-Elect, you have my pledge to make sure this NEVER happens again.”
Wesyna Davis: “Here is the “Sample Ballot” is what they told voters at different precincts in Harford County District 34A!!!!! Steve Johnson’s daughter was even passing them out and telling voters it was a sample ballot!!!😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡”
Gus Griffin: “This sort of tactic is the nationwide norm of both major political parties which for me is just more validation that we should expand the work of building independent political power.”
Sarahia Benn: “Wala Blegay what trips me out is these stat quo candidates did all this stuff, spent 100k or more and all I had was my postcard, my message, and my word to the people! #MovingMountains just like you!”
Eddie L. Pounds: “I hear you Wala, but perhaps a different approach should be considered that involves educating the public about sample ballots. Central Committees should take the lead in that effort because this practice will not end. I never understood why anyone would waste resources producing them. It’s a complete waste. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of voters actually research the candidates and know who they are voting for before they cast their votes. Perhaps all candidate should agree to change the header of these leaflets to just reflect that these are their preferred running mates?? By the way, I thought you ran a solid campaign.”
Wala Blegay: “I have actually witnessed the confusion from many as a received phone call asking why I was no longer with the Democratic Party and this is from community leaders. We cannot trust those benefiting from it to just agree. It must be banned. People have and cna win elections without them”
Eddie L. Pounds: “Wala Blegay I hear you. You better not disappear. You have proven that you’re fit for public office”
Mel Spruill: “Eddie L. Pounds not sure if I agree with you! Have been working polls and canvassing for a long time and from my experience most of the voters are not aware of the sample ballot trick. If you live in Bowie that may be a reality… Btw, I do think it’s a great idea to start a voter’s education movement but, we still need some type of rules to even the playing field….”
Eddie L. Pounds: “Mel Spruill I’m not the expert here but I understand election laws. I’ll still standby my suggestion that the Central Committee or Dem Clubs should play a role in educating the public and keeping citizens engaged.”
Wala Blegay: “John E. Richardson it is still deceptive no matter whether my name is on it or not”
Ladel Lewis: “Joseph Tolbert III many are. No disrespect, but the winner of 26th at large was PURELY an establishment pick. You can’t even google her name and find info let alone seen her in the street. But yet, she took 50% of The votes. I’m not sure if they are brave enough to bite the hand that got them elected by questioning their practices. Hence, that’s why they were selected.”
Jamila Woods: “I’ve tried to decide whether or not to chime in. I wrote concerns about these “fake” official ballots previously. Not much response then.
Having served on the Central Committee, it should be noted that we put out the ballot in November.
Next, take note of all the staff members of current elected officials who are suddenly running for the Central Committee. This is another calculated effort to assure that elected officials are controlling the playing field; particularly when it comes to presenting someone to the Governor to replace a candidate. I know of Central Committee members who believe it is their duty to follow the instructions of their Senator regarding a candidate; even if they disagree. Qualified candidates don’t have a chance if Central Committee members just do what their Senator (in most instances) instructs, and the validity of the Central Committee becomes null and void.”
Wala Blegay: “I understand that banning sample ballots creates some constitutional issues but The ballots should include a disclaimer. “This ballot is not an endorsement of the Democratic Party”
Erica Watson Staples: “Cheri A. Tyner Wow. If they do this publicly imagine what they’ll do behind closed doors in Annapolis.”
Toyin Fasakin: “I totally agree with you. It is deemed a voter manipulation. We know some who won would never support a legislation to ban it but a referendum may be the best option. We need all hands on deck to fight it by starting a PETITION. We are supposed to play fairly and serve the people with integrity but I know politics is a dirty game, sometimes. It is time to get this ugly practice banned once and for all.”
LaTasha Renee Ward: “We need the Democratic Central committee for Prince George’s county to take a stand with an open and public hearing on when the official Democratic ballot is issued.”
Erin Brown: “I concur! I was appalled when I found that in my door. How in the world can we simultaneously say that we want to educate the electorate but then DUPE them into thinking there is any such thing as an “official Democratic ballot” during a PRIMARY! I don’t like the fact that anyone can play mind games with people in my community.”
Keisha Trotter Nelson: “100% agree the things that I witnessed were extremely embarrassing and shameful. We must do better. Our country deserves better and so do the voters.”
Tommi Makila: “There are a couple of fundamental and in my view very serious problems that result from these ballots. First, the end result is that in many cases an inferior candidate ends up winning a race over a better candidate (better as in qualifications, integrity, campaign effort, etc.). And when you have these inferior candidates in office, the quality of our political decision making suffers and we often end up with a public official who is an embarrassment to the community. The second problem is that these sample ballots are the primary foundation that our Democratic political machine is built on. Especially in Prince George’s County most of our new elected officials owe their election to these sample ballots and those incumbent politicians/party bosses who placed them on these ballots. As a result, even well-meaning new elected officials easily become co-opted by the political machine and they end up working more for the people who helped them get elected rather than the voters.”
Michelle Wright:“Thank you Wala for leading the charge. Those ballots are truly designed with the intent of deception. Shame on all of you who participate and live life with no integrity and seek the sheer benefit of trickery. You are all benefactors of those that have been identified as folks that can be used. How can and do you feel a victor and proud of yourselves tricking the community. Shame on you! This practice has to stop.”
Daren Hester: “I so agree with you Wala. Those fake official ballot were left inside polling locations and in voting booths. My wife saw one in a booth and showed it to an Election Official. Prince George’s County needs campaign reform and I will make sure this happens.”
Amber Waller: “I agree with Wala. After being a candidate and exercising firsthand discrimination because of fake ballots, they should be banned.Now after working the polls for a candidate and seeing and hearing the confusion and people using fake ballots to educate themselves when they go inside to vote….A change has to come!!!!!”
Monica Colclough-Roebuck: “The sample ballot confuses the voter and manipulates them to think certain candidates are chosen. This pay to play system of politics needs to stop. Voters have got to raise their awareness about who is running and what they are about. Don’t rely on signs or literature being sent home. Our community will continue to be duped until they wake up. The information is out there..we have to empower ourselves and make the best choices for ourselves not because of persuasion or manipulation.”
Donna Goodman: “Absolutely Wala!! Even more fustrating, is the belief that “someone” did research on the candidates and found them to be the best selected to represent us! NOT TRUE PEOPLE!!
If this is not a deceptive means, to deliberately steering the election, I don’t know what is. Have you noticed there is NO FAKE BALLOT for Republicans candidates?? Why, the Democratic Establishment spends millions of their donor funds to mass produce this propaganda! Make no mistake about it, the fake ballots have served them well. They actually get the majority of their selected candidates elected. They operate on the notion, we do not read, we will always vote the partyline no matter how horrible they are, Mike Miller fees he can control us better, and if he just tell us what to do, we will do it!
Please wake up people. We can Never get our county headed in the right direction if we keep ourselves beholding to the same establishment that does Nothing for our community! Alsobrooks, Davis, Barnes, Benson All Brought and Paid for by Mike Miller. Why vote for those who have not made changes, especially when they are the only ones benefiting? Why aren’t we able to hear from them until elections? Where was Mike Miller when our children were being abused and molested, Where was Miller when Rushern L. Baker was continuing to back Maxwell as he lied through his teeth on teachers, principals and others? Where was Mike Miller when whistleblowers were fired for reporting the child abuse and molestation on buses and in schools; when procurement fraud, illegal contract awards and sole sourcing of competitive work was taking place? Where would the Dept. Directors, Board Members, Purchasing Director, COO, CEO and General Counsel be today, if Mr Miller gave a darn! Why wasn’t Mike Miller interested in the MBEs that are being illeglly extorted for money or services by Dept Directors, Executives and general counsel? It seems when grade and attendance changes took place and as our children were being pushed out of PGCPS Mr Miller was unavailable? Finally, is anyone able to explain why reporting the crimes and presenting evidence to Baker, Alsobrooks, Benson, Peters and speaking in Annapolis, presented with crickets? Heck No they must go!”
According to activist Richard DeShay Elliott: “Kathleen Matthews, these “sample ballots” are unethical, to say the least. Commit the Maryland Democratic Party to stop the usage of these. Mailing these and distributing them at the polls is voter suppression and interrupts accountable democracy.
Calling these “Official Democratic Party Sample Ballots” is extremely misleading and has been used for a long time to reinforce corruption and machine politics in PG County, Baltimore, and other parts of Maryland.”
Carmen Skarlupka: “I refuse to vote for any Democrat that sent these out and the candidates that condone them.”
Richard DeShay Elliott Brooks Schandelmeier: “Note that these are not excuses for using misleading voter information. We can support Dems while saying no to unethical, misleading, and undemocratic tactics (as we should, must, and will)”
Sarahia Benn: “Richard DeShay Elliott the same thing was implemented against me but Worse Kathleen Mathews they utilized the local dem. central committee to advocate against me, paid volunteers to say the candidates highlighted were black in POC areas when all the candidates weren’t, and said this was an official Democratic Party ballot, and a long list of infractions and personal attacks in addition. This is why no one trusts the party in Harford County. We have 25k dem registered voters and not even 28% participate because they believe the entire system is rigged! I am still the people’s champ! My supporters and the people in general are beyond upset! They are wondering why, Kathleen Matthews are supporting establishment candidates and stat quo loser candidates that engage in such immoral, divisive, and disgusting tactics and behaviors. And folks wonder why no one supports the party? Or can’t support it any further? #WheresTomPerezAt”
Lindsey Price Walker: “As an organizer with The Maryland Democratic Party, I can assure you that we did not pay for this. All of our literature will explicitly say “Paid for by the Maryland Democratic Party”.
Richard DeShay Elliott: “Not accusing the MDP of paying for it, but instead because action hasn’t been taken against these when they should be illegal.”
Lindsey Price Walker: “I will definitely speak to Kathleen and Stephanie about this. I understand where you’re coming from Richard.”
Richard DeShay Elliott: “Lindsey Price Walker I appreciate it. Don’t take it as me blaming the Maryland Democratic Party, but wanting accountability on the ballots and at the polling stations.
My polling place (Bowie City Gym) didn’t have the grey sample ballot that is mailed to each registered voter, but there were multiple people giving away these fake sample ballots outside.”
Alan Hyman: “The MD dems didnt pay for them.”
Richard DeShay Elliott: “You can see that candidates paid for them, but the MDP has a responsibility to repudiate them. They’re misleading and unethical”
Richard DeShay Elliott: “No. “Official Democratic Party Sample Ballot” is deliberately chosen to mislead voters.
If they wanted to call this the D24 Slate, that’s fine. Faking that people have the party endorsement is unethical and misleading.”
Emily Cooke: “I saw a picture of one that had Colvin’s name checked off and said Official Democratic Party sample ballot. That could have been part of what happened to Allison”
Hal Ginsberg: “My inclination is to vote against all candidates selected in “Official Democratic” ballots.”
Patricia Lippold: “Even though we supported many of these candidates, these sample ballot slate cards should not be permitted in primaries. It is deceitful and dishonest. Same as using organizational logos on slate pieces that include candidates we do not endorse.”
David Hiles: “Election law changes are probably needed to fix this. Join your local Our Revolution chapter and push for an agenda for state and county party reform. Beware of people who say we’ll talk about this after November.”
Jeff Clark: “We need the State and all county central committees to come up with guidance for the 2020 primary while it is fresh and folks still have the problem sheets … and there were some good ones that did not call it an official ballot and referenced the “Democratic team” rather than the “party”. For the General, they’ll put out sample ballots and maybe “official’ would be appropriate, if it includes all candidates (NOT dim the R selections too much that they cannot be read). But not make selections for non-partisan positions such as school board.
And, maybe some legislation can be introduced.”
Edward Johnson: “Richard DeShay Elliott, Shelia Ruth and Cecilia Plante and I had a conversation in TWW Balto Area on this issue. We agreed we need a two prong approach. The Central Committees should issue a statement condemning this type of campaigning. This will make it easier to get legislation passed in the next Session of the legislature. The Maryland Legislative Coalition will propose banning this type of campaigning as one of their first pieces of original legislation.”
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