From Harford County Democratic Central Committee member Christopher Boardman:
Harford County Democratic Central Committee member Christopher Boardman walked out of a special meeting held Sunday Feb. 3 in protest of the central committee’s refusal to seek full disclosure over the suspension of Harford County Board of Elections director Kevin Keene and assistant director Dale Livingston this past fall before the November election and their replacement by an interim director.
The central committee was considering Democratic Party member applications for two vacancies on the county election oversight board that are to be submitted to Gov. Hogan for appointment to terms which are to begin in June.
At the beginning of the meeting , Boardman raised a point of order which was that the applications should not be considered until the parties responsible for the suspensions make full disclosures of the circumstances and causes for this incident.
Following that he made a motion that consideration of the applications be delayed pending disclosures. Failing for lack of a second. Boardman made another motion which was that the meeting be adjourned, which also failed for a second. Boardman then left the meeting.
“As the elected representatives of approximately 60,000 Democratic voters, it is our responsibility as the Democratic Central Committee to get to the bottom of why the two top administrators of the county’s elections were suspended as this may have had an impact on the integrity of the voting process last November. It’s obvious that the powers that be don’t want this to happen and they have cloaked the suspensions under the veil of being confidential ‘personnel matters,'” said Boardman.
“Yet until we know the full story about the suspensions our ability to recommend sound and viable candidates for the elections oversight role will be impaired. The committee’s refusal to delay recommendations pending disclosure of this information does not serve the voters well.
“First off, the ‘personnel matter’ issue does not pass the sniff test. Both Kevin Keene and Dale Livingston are too knowledgeable and experienced
not to know the rules and procedures of working for the election board. Secondly, it is possible they were silenced and neutralized because they may actually have been doing the right things as administrators, things which the person or persons involved in doing the suspensions may have wanted to prevent from happening. Third, who actually did the suspensions, the county executive or governor or members of their staffs or the state board of elections? And why did they do this? All of this information is lacking and at the very least it should be provided to the committee which is charged with nominating oversight members for the election board.
“The argument that Keene and Livingston are mere employees is false as they do not deserve normal personnel protections as
they are the actual managers of the election process in the county. This argument is being used to shield the public from the truth and the central committee has erred in being persuaded to ignore these issues which may effect the integrity of elections in the county.”
Member, Harford County Democratic Central Committee