The Ocean Pines Election Committee’s annual report, made official on Friday, shows a significant reduction in voter error over the last three years.
According to the report, the total number of ballots was 129 in 2017. This year, that number dropped to just seven.
Committee Chairman Steve Habeger credited former chairman Steve Tuttle with redesigning the ballots in 2017, to make the instructions clearer. Tuttle is currently the Association vice president.
“That made the biggest improvement,” Habeger said.
The number of ballots received after the deadline have also declined over a two-year period, from 72 in 2017 to 46 this year.
“All these indicators are moving in a positive direction, Habeger said. “We’re going in the right direction … I think this is a pat on the back [for] the committee.”
According to the report, Ocean Pines mailed 7,957 ballots during the election this year. Including late and rejected ballots, 3,126 were returned, or a rate of 39.3 percent.
Habeger said that represents a roughly 1 percent decline. He added the Association mailed more ballots in 2019 than 2018 but received slightly fewer.
This year, 3,054 ballots were counted by a scantron and 19 ballots were counted manually. Of the seven mismarked ballots, four were rejected for being mismarked and three were rejected for voting for more than the allowed number of candidates. Of the 46 late ballots, 42 came in two days after the election deadline and four came in four days after the deadline.
Tom Janasek (2,160), Larry Perrone (2,131) and Camilla Rogers (1,753) were the top-three vote getters in the election, with each earning a three-year seat on the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors.
In 2019, 768 Ocean Pines homeowners were not eligible to vote and received notice of the Annual Meeting, rather than a ballot.
Eligible voters, in Ocean Pines, refers to homeowners “in good standing,” meaning they do not have outstanding violations or unpaid assessments. Those on a monthly payment plan are not eligible to vote.
For questions about voter eligibility, contact Membership and Assessment Supervisor Ruth Ann Meyer at 410-641-7717 ext. 3031, or email email@example.com.
The committee established three dates for the election next year: a candidate draw and workshop on Friday, June 12, a candidate forum on Wednesday, June 17, and a second forum on Saturday, June 27.
Votes each year are counted and announced on the second Friday in August, with the results scheduled to be validated during the Annual Meeting held on the following day.
The Ocean Pines Elections Committee will next meet on Friday, Oct. 25 at 10 a.m.
To read the committee’s full report, visit https://www.oceanpines.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2019-09-13-FINAL-Election-Report.pdf.