Democratic challenger to Republican Rep. Andy Harris in the 1st Congressional District, Wendy Rosen
has withdrew from the race Monday due to allegations that she voted in elections in both Maryland and Florida in 2006 and 2008. tsk tsk tsk
Democratic leaders — who raised the allegations, urged Rosen to step aside and notified prosecutors — said they would gather Central Committee members this month to identify a write-in candidate for the district, which includes the Eastern Shore and parts of Harford, Carroll, Cecil and Baltimore counties.
Republicans, meanwhile, said the allegations prove that voter fraud is real and called on Democrats to join the GOP in calling for reforms.
Rosen told The Baltimore Sun that she registered to vote in Florida several years ago in order to support a “very close friend” running for the St. Petersburg City Council and to vote on local issues there.
Rosen said she was able to register in Florida because she owned property there.
Under Maryland law, a voter here may not maintain registration in a second state if it allows the voter to participate in state or federal elections there, according to Jared DeMarinis, director of candidacy and campaign finance at the State Board of Elections.
State Democratic Chairwoman Yvette Lewis said an examination of voting records in Maryland and Florida showed that Rosen participated in the 2006 general election and the 2008 primaries in both states.
Maryland and Florida both held gubernatorial and congressional contests in 2006 and presidential primaries in 2008, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton competed for the Democratic nomination.
Asked by The Sun on Monday if she had voted in both states in the same elections, Rosen said she did not remember how she voted. Asked if she had voted twice in the 2008 presidential primaries, she declined to comment “due to possible litigation.”
Lewis referred the allegations Monday to Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and State Prosecutor Emmitt C. Davitt.
“We believe that this is a clear violation of Maryland law and urge the appropriate office to conduct a full investigation,” she wrote. “The Maryland Democratic Party strongly believes in upholding and expanding the right to vote but, at the same time, believes there should be zero tolerance for voter fraud of any kind.”