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Messy election for Ocean Pines

Best laid plans didn’t work, forcing association to delay ballot counting to Aug. 24

By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer

(Aug. 10, 2023) After a troubled start, Election Trust, the Washington State company that the Election Committee entrusted with the 2023 Ocean Pines Association elections, has begun receiving and counting ballots.

 Election Trust has counted 1,519  ballots as of Monday, which included 336 from the drop box, Election Committee Chair Tom Piatti said.

That’s a big difference from the goose egg Election Trust laid just a week before, when Piatti told the board of directors at an emergency meeting that he had yet to receive a vote count from the company.

“They are well aware of the predicament regarding late mail and are stepping up to expedite what they can,” Piatti said.

The predicament is that Election Trust failed to mail out the ballots when they were supposed to, on the week of July 11, resulting in many residents getting them one and two weeks late.

As a result, the directors  delayed all of the dates related to the elections and annual meeting by two weeks.

The new dates are:

  • Due date for ballots to be delivered to Election Trust: Aug. 22.
  • Count date: Aug. 24.
  • Annual meeting Aug 26, 9 a.m. at the Club House Meeting Room.

Piatti said it takes five days for ballots to reach Washington State by mail. Consequently, residents are encouraged to use the ballot drop box at the Ocean Pines Police Station. Homeowners who live out of the area should mail ballots as soon as possible.