Maryland Panel OKs Nomination of Elections Board Member

Maryland Panel OKs Nomination of Elections Board Member

To replace a previous board member who resigned this year after being accused of taking part in the riots at the U.S. Capitol in January 2021, a Maryland Senate panel voted on Monday night to approve a Republican nominee to the state elections board.

After being indicted in federal court, Carlos Ayala resigned from the elections board in January.

Since Ayala reportedly took part in the riot during Congress’s certification of the 2020 presidential election results, he is charged with civil disorder, a felony, and numerous misdemeanor counts.

The panel of lawmakers controlled by Democrats questioned Diane Butler during a state Senate hearing while promising to use greater caution in the confirmation process as it considers a successor for the former Republican official of the elections board who resigned in January.

The committee members pledged to exercise greater caution when verifying state election officials.

At a meeting earlier this month, the board questioned Butler about her whereabouts on January 6, 2021, and her views regarding the fairness of the state election process.

Butler formerly served as a member of the Howard County Election Board.

When asked where she was on January 6, 2021, Butler replied, “I’d just gotten back from Florida visiting with my daughter, and I was actually cleaning my fish tank because it got a bunch of stuff in it while I was gone.”

She added, “I was at home.”

In response to a question from Democratic Senator Clarence Lam, Butler stated that she did not believe that voter fraud “is a significant problem in Maryland’s elections.”

Butler also said she didn’t think there had been any unlawful meddling in the state’s previous elections.

In response to a question concerning mail-in votes, Butler stated that she thought Maryland handled the system quite well given the circumstances during the pandemic and that “it can be done extremely well.”

Maryland Panel OKs Nomination of Election Board Member
Maryland Panel OKs Nomination of Election Board Member

Democratic senator Clarence Lam also questioned Butler regarding a screenshot of a Facebook page he claimed his office had received that seemed to be from her regarding the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice on pandemic masks.

Lam questioned, “The post that was purported to be from you said that you have responded with a comment of:’ What’s next? Nazi armbands?’ Is that something you recall posting in the past?”

Butler answered, “No, I don’t recall that,”

When Lam asked again, Butler added, “It could have been mine. I think that there were a lot of different thoughts about the masks, and I think people had a lot of thoughts in the beginning,”

The same questions have also been posed to Democrats nominated for positions in charge of the overseeing electoral process.

As the current governor of Maryland is a Democrat, three of the five Maryland State Board of Elections members are Democrats.

Butler was nominated to the Senate committee by the governor, while the other two members’ choices were from the Maryland Republican Party.

After the Senate Executive Nominations Committee’s decision, the Senate will now vote on Diane Butler’s nomination to confirm it.

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Nancy Beverly

Nancy Beverly is a prominent political journalist and editor at World-Wire, known for her sharp analysis and deep understanding of global politics. With a Master's degree in Political Science, she excels in breaking down complex political issues, making them relatable to the public. At World-Wire, Nancy crafts compelling political narratives covering everything from local governance to international relations. Recognized for her expertise, she received the 'Excellence in Political Journalism' award in 2021. Nancy's work not only informs but also enriches her readers' understanding of political dynamics.

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