Prince George's County election officials apologize for ballot debacle

Board of Elections officials in Prince George's County are issuing an apology after a shortage of ballots at several polling locations caused hours-long lines for people voting on Tuesday.

Daneen Banks, the deputy administrator for the Prince George's County Board of Elections, says voter turnout matched the rate of participation in the 2016 presidential election - about 60 percent. The board planned based on locations that underperformed in past elections and therefore had fewer ballots than if those precincts had seen higher turnout historically.

Delivery of the extra ballots was also delayed because of rush hour traffic and rain, Banks said.

The shortage caused long lines in at least 10 locations across the county. Some voters waited in line for three and four hours to cast their ballot, while some abandoned the lines and did not vote.

Banks said the shortage was in no way intentional or motivated by voter suppression.

"All of the employees here at the Board of Elections do this work because we want people to be able to exercise their right to vote," said Banks.

Banks said the board is working to make sure the shortage does not reoccur in the future.

"We apologize for what occurred," Banks said. "However, we are going to make every effort to make sure that this never occurs again."

The Maryland Board of Elections, which oversees county elections boards, did not respond to FOX 5's questions about the ballot incident.