By Greg Ellison
(Oct. 14, 2021) While agreeing to hold off mailing ballots until after a court hearing scheduled this Wednesday for the contested 2021 board election, the Ocean Pines Election Committee convened last Friday to review materials for a re-run election.
On Sept. 30, the board voted 4-3 to re-stage its election, which is currently under litigation in Worcester Circuit Court, without candidate Rick Farr.
Farr was originally deemed eligible for the election in early May, but after property ownership status questions surfaced tied to a family trust, that determination was reversed on July 27.
Committee Chairman Steve Habeger said new election materials had been completed.
Habeger said a statement outlining the specifics of the new election would be uploaded on the association’s website and also included in mailings.
“Every eligible voter will receive one,” he said.
During a meeting one week earlier, Habeger said the committee agreed to mail packets by this Friday, Oct. 15.
‘We should hold off posting until after the Oct. 13 hearing,” he said.
Habeger said envelopes under production would be tinted to be opaque.
The proposed ballot return deadline would be on Dec. 4 by 4 p.m. with vote counts conducted Dec. 6.
“On Dec. 7, we will be prepared to validate election results,” he said.
Concerns regarding the new contest included mail delivery delays.
“We’re trying to allow six weeks for this process,” he said.
In light of the upcoming Oct. 13 court hearing, Habeger opted to hold off planning the next committee meeting and completing the mail process.
“Let’s not schedule it now but see what the future holds,” he said.