The Board of Election Supervisors is scheduled to meet with the Mayor and Council on January 16 for the 2023 Election Debrief. The following is a summary of the BOES report and the ElectionGuard report.

The 2023 election planning by the Board of Election Supervisors started in fall 2022 but faced interruption in March due to a Special Election after the former Mayor’s resignation. In early 2023, ElectionGuard was introduced by R. C. Carter, and the City partnered with them, incorporating ElectionGuard, Hart InterCivic, and the Center for Civic Design in the General Election. Post-election, positive comments highlighted the software’s success, with matching results and independent validation. The technical report is available here: https://www.electionguard.vote/elections/College_Park_Maryland_2023/

New Initiatives for the 2023 General Elections
For the 2023 General Election, key initiatives were implemented, including encrypted election results, heightened awareness efforts, enhanced ballot confidentiality, comprehensive voter surveys, robust reporting through Hart Verity, and the purchase of electronic pollpads. Changes to voter registration deadlines and automatic mailing of ballots to Permanent Vote By Mail list members were made. Notably, mail-in ballots were processed before Election Day, and election judge compensation saw a significant increase, accompanied by intensified training efforts.

2023 Election Results
In the 2023 General Election, Early Voting took place on October 25 and November 2, while Election Day occurred on November 5. Mail-in absentee ballots were collected via drop boxes, with 953 automatically mailed to Permanent Vote By Mail list members. A total of 1,012 mail ballots were sent, and 500 were returned. Canvass added 132 ballots to preliminary results, and the voter turnout was 10.17%, with 1,468 persons voting out of 14,428 registered voters.

Future Elections – Discussion Points:
Discussion points for future elections include concerns about Davis Hall’s adequacy as a polling place due to space issues. The Board of Election Supervisors (BOES) recommends alternate locations and suggests using Davis Hall only on weekends if necessary. Continuity on the BOES is a concern, with vacancies and potential retirements. The BOES suggests hiring an election support specialist for the 2025 election. The effectiveness of two days of early voting is questioned, proposing transportation options instead. The use of ElectionGuard and/or Hart InterCivic equipment is recommended, along with publicizing the state’s Permanent Vote By Mail list. Research on technology for Ranked Choice Voting is also advised.