By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer
The Ocean Pines Elections Committee is dotting every i and crossing every t in the lead-up to the first candidate forum for the six board of directors hopefuls on June 22.
The candidates are Paula Gray, Stephen Jacobs, Stuart Lakernick, Monica Rakowski, Amy Peck and Josette Wheatley.
On Friday, the committee decided on member assignments for the ballot draw and candidate workshop, which happened Tuesday.
The workshop simply orients the candidates on the forum and the draw decided the order of who speaks, which came out as: Paula Gray, Amy Peck, Stuart Lakernick, Monica Rakowski, Josette Wheatley, Steve Jacobs.
At the forum, the candidates will be asked six questions, committee chair Carol Ludwig said. They will be timed for opening and closing statements at two minutes apiece and have a certain amount of time to answer questions. The committee typically comes up with the same number of questions as there are candidates.
There aren’t many concerns heading into the forums, Ludwig said. Although, the committee continues to receive ballots, well after the May 19 deadline.
“I think there were 65 more late ballots from the post office,” Ludwig said.
“We always try to track them because that’s one of our major concerns with the mail the way it is (currently). We know some people got their ballots very close to the deadline and we don’t know when those people may have mailed them. You talk to anybody and they’re talking about four or five weeks sometimes to get mail or when they mail something, the person on the other end could fall asleep waiting to hear from them.”
Regardless of the circumstance, late ballots cannot be counted, Ludwig said.
“That’s one of the things that we hope, if we do get electronic voting, that should certainly help,” she said. “With electronic voting, you can vote up to five minutes before the deadline.”
She added that the committee is working with the board of directors and also the Bylaws Committee to have certain resolutions rewritten that would allow for electronic voting.
The board has already conducted a survey that showed residents are indeed in favor of electronic voting.
The committee is scheduled to meet next on July 1.
This story appears in the print version of the Bayside Gazette on June 9, 2022.