No matter the outcome of the current electoral stalemate between State Senator Catherine Pugh and former Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon, the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee will be the winner.

Maryland Election Law provides an explicit bias against parties other than Republican or Democrat. Maryland Election Law invests electoral power in a Board of Elections populated exclusively by two parties. According to Section 2-201, that law establishes a Baltimore City Board of Elections comprising “Three regular members shall be of the majority party, and two regular members shall be of the principal minority party.”

It further indicates that the Governor shall appoint members to the Baltimore City Board of Elections based on a list provided by each of the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee and Republican Central Committee. There is no provision allowing for voters identifying with minor parties or who chose to be unaffiliated.

Because of the registration dynamics currently existing in the City, this puts power in the hands of the Democratic Party establishment. Voters who are unaffiliated, or who chose to register with minor parties based on their conscience, are left to wonder who will represent their interests in November.

“This situation with the Democratic Primary doesn’t inspire confidence for how our candidates will be treated in November,” said Andy Ellis, Director of the Baltimore Green Party. “With all this power invested in a major party that can’t even manage the conduct of its own primary, what should we expect going forward?”

The Green Party of Baltimore conducted its primary election via mail-in ballot and with in-person balloting on May 1, 2016. In that canvass, Joshua Harris won the Green Party nomination for Baltimore City Mayor with 85% of the votes cast. No controversy ensued.