OCEAN PINES – Voters returned two incumbents to the Ocean Pines Association’s board of directors.
A ballot count on Friday revealed that incumbents Colette Horn and Doug Parks received the most votes in this summer’s election. Parks collected 2,206 votes, Horn 1,801 and challenger Stuart Lakernick 1,149.
“We express our appreciation to all of the candidates who have volunteered to serve our association,” said Steve Habeger, chairman of the elections committee, as he announced vote totals Friday.
According to a preliminary report from the committee, 6,975 ballots were mailed. A total of 2,759 ballots were counted on Friday, for a return of 39.6%, including 2,745 scanned ballots and 14 manually counted ballots. The committee reported that 20 ballots were rejected, including 18 which were marked improperly or included comments on the ballot, and two which used improper return envelopes. Another 60 ballots were not counted because they were received one day after the Aug. 5 deadline. Including the rejected and late ballots, the 2020 return rate was 40.7%.
For last year’s election, 7,957 ballots were mailed and 3,073 were counted, for a 38.6% return rate.
Also in 2019, seven ballots were declared invalid, including four which were marked improperly or included comments on the ballot, and three which voted for more than the allowed number of candidates. Forty-six ballots were received after the voting deadline, including 42 received two days late and four received four days after the deadline.
Including rejected and late ballots, the total 2019 return rate was 39.2%.
In addition to selecting two candidates for the board of directors, this summer’s ballot asked voters if they’d support electronic voting in the future. Habeger said there were 1,581 votes, or 65.8%, in favor of electronic voting and 822 votes, or 34.2%, were not in favor.
“It’s almost two to one in favor,” Habeger said. “In the future the committee can take a look at that.”