Council Elections

Every year, the Village of Martins Additions' Election and "Celebration on the Sidewalk" is held between March 1 and May 15 in accordance with the Charter.  The 2020 Election and "Celebration on the Sidewalk" will be held on Thursday, May 7th,  from 
5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Brookville Marketplace area on Brookville Road.

Election Polls are open from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. (absentee ballots will be accepted until 3:00 p.m. the day of the election) for residents to voting for open Council Seats. Voting is usually followed by the Village's Annual Meeting, where the Council votes on the the next year's tax rates and budget, which are typically introduced at the March Council meeting.

The Village of Martin’s Additions is governed by a municipal Charter that provides for a five-member elected Council to appoint an Election Committee (Committee) that operates according to rules and procedures adopted by the Council, pursuant to Section 602 of the Village Charter.  The Committee maintains the voter rolls, accepts and makes nominations of candidates for the Village Council, and oversees the annual election. Any qualified voter may nominate another qualified voter or may declare his or her own candidacy.

The Election of Council members takes place on the second Thursday in May in accordance with Section 602 of the Charter. Council members are elected to terms of two years. In general, the number of seats open on the Council alternates between two and three seats every other year unless there is a vacancy as provided for in Section 408 of the Charter. All elections are managed by the Committee. The Committee consists of a minimum of three, but preferably no less than five, qualified voter volunteers appointed by the Council. Each year the details of the election cycle for that year are published in the Village newsletter. The Village Council has passed the following Election Rules and Procedures:

Election Rules and Procedures Policy No. 2-16-2A
Action/Adopted: February 15, 2018
Effective Date: February 15, 2018 (May 9, 2018)
Amended: January 17, 2019

The candidate forum was audio recorded, and can be listened to by clicking the link below:
VMA Candidate Forum Audio- April 28, 2019

Here is a link to the the 2019 Election Results:


 May 10, 2019

 Dear candidates, Council members, and neighbors,

 Here are the full results of the May 9, 2019, Council Election for the Village of Martin's Additions: 

            Richard Krajeck           154 votes

            Katya Hill                     153 votes

            Peter Kahn                   150 votes.       

 The Election Committee congratulates the winning candidates and thanks all three candidates for the positive, courteous community campaigns they ran.

 There were 17 votes for write-in candidates, as well:  Frank Correl, Peter Glassman, Katie Howard, Susan Kahn, and Jean Sperling each received two votes. Debbie Brown, Hanne Correl, Andrew Kauders, Jackie Polland, Larry Wasson, Paul Weller, and Mike Zielinski each received one vote.

 Some residents voted for only one person, resulting in a total of 36 votes not cast, and six ballots were disqualified as invalid because the voter voted for more than two people.

 Because the election results were so close, the Election Committee took extra time to double-check the vote counts. We also consulted the Village attorney on Friday morning to make sure that we had correctly handled the ballots where residents voted for more than two candidates.   

 There was an excellent turnout: A total of 261 voters, an increase of more than 60% over the tally of 162 voters last year. 210 ballots were cast at the polling table this year – more than one voter a minute. VMA residents also completed 51 absentee ballots -- that’s three times the number we had last year, and a truly remarkable 81% return rate on the 63 absentee ballots that were requested during the absentee-voting period.

 Our thanks go to Diane Everts and Susan Post, who assisted us as temporary Committee members on Election Day – to the VMA staff, Matt Trollinger and Tina Lurie, for their exceptionally helpful and diligent work in support of all the Election Committee’s mailings, notices, meetings, and logistics – to all the local shops, artists, volunteers, and community groups who so generously participated in the Village Celebration on the Sidewalk on Election Day -- and a special thank-you to VMA’s distinguished weatherman, Keith Allen, who made good on his promise to keep us from getting rained on this year.

 Respectfully submitted by the 2019 Martin’s Additions Election Committee: 

Marty Langelan (chair), Lauren Shweder Biel, Lorie Mitchell, Halie Soifer, and Jesse Tampio

Dear Neighbors,

Some of you might like more details about why the 2019 election took longer than usual. It was an amazing election, and transparency is important, so we'd like to tell you more about it.
It was the closest election here in many years. At the end of the counting, all three candidates were within four votes of each other (out of 261 voters and 522 votes). The Election Committee has a careful system for vote-counting, and we double-checked the entire count again that night to make sure we had it right.
As noted in our election report, there were also some ballots that the Committee had to disqualify. The instructions on the ballot said, "Vote for up to two people, including any write-in candidates. Voting for more than two people invalidates the ballot." 255 voters (98%) followed these instructions. However, there were six ballots where a voter appeared to have voted for three people. Each of those ballots showed two candidates and one write-in, or one candidate and two write-ins.
When someone enters three votes for only two open seats, there's no way for the election officials to determine the voter's intent. By law, the Election Committee is not allowed to decide which two of your three votes we will count. The whole ballot becomes invalidated. Legally, none of those votes can be counted; the ballot is automatically disqualified.
There was one further complication. On many ballots, and all six of the ballots in question, voters entered write-in names but did not put a check-mark in the box next to the words "write-in." Is checking the write-in box necessary, or does the write-in name by itself count as a vote? We needed the answer to that legal question before we could certify the final vote tally. If a ballot had one checked box for a candidate and two write-in names with no checked boxes, did that count as only one actual vote (ballot is valid) or three votes (ballot is disqualified)?
At 11 pm on Thursday night, after an extensive discussion, we decided that we had to consult the Village attorney to be sure. On Friday morning, we verified the election law. The Maryland State Board of Elections rules say: "Failure to fill in the oval for a write-in will not invalidate the vote for that candidate." The Village attorney, who specializes in local government law, confirmed that writing a name on the write-in line is a vote for that person, whether or not the box is checked. That meant that all six ballots did indeed show three votes and we had no choice but to disqualify them.
We all have day jobs, but at lunchtime Friday, the Committee was able to reconvene by email to certify the election and announce the voting results. When we got home from work Friday evening, we finished the detailed election report, coordinated it with all the Committee members, and sent it to the candidates, the Council, and the VMA staff to post, which they did on Saturday morning. 
We wish that we could have issued the 2019 election results faster. But sometimes it just takes a little longer to be sure to do things right.
The 2019 election results are final. None of the votes on the disqualified ballots make any difference, since none of them can legally be counted. We hope all VMA residents will please keep this experience in mind for future elections. When a ballot says vote for only two people, please don't vote for three. We'll redesign the ballots next year to make this even clearer.
We extend our warmest congratulations to Richard and Katya, and to Peter as well. We wish all three candidates every success in the years ahead.
Thank you all for voting. Martin's Additions takes pride in having honest and accurate elections, and it's an honor to serve on your Election Committee.
With best regards,
Marty Langelan
Chair, 2019 VMA Election Committee





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