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Politicsby Mark Reutter7:20 pmMay 29, 20200

Mayoral candidate Mary Miller didn’t vote in some mayoral primaries

A front-runner in Baltimore’s June 2 Democratic Party primary, Miller defends her voting history

Above: Mary Miller at a recent candidate forum. (Fern Shen)

Mary J. Miller, who has blanketed local airwaves with ads touting her candidacy for Baltimore mayor in the June 2 primary, has not herself voted in two of three recent Baltimore primaries.

Miller did not vote in the 2011 and 2018 city primaries, but did vote in the 2016 Democratic primary, according to Maryland Elections Board data obtained by The Brew.

Other candidates for mayor – Sheila Dixon, Brandon M. Scott and Bernard C. “Jack” Young – voted in every primary and general election since 2006, which is how far back online voting records go.

Two other contenders, Thiru Vignarajah and T.J. Smith, have voted in local elections since they moved to the city.

Miller’s record of voting in state and national primaries is also sporadic. For example, she did not vote in the 2010 and 2012 primaries when she lived in Baltimore and worked as a high-ranking Treasury Department official in the Obama administration.

She has, however, voted diligently in general elections – twice as an early voter, twice as an absentee voter and three times as a provisional voter – since 2006.

(Provisional ballots are cast when a voter’s eligibility cannot be established immediately.)

Why no Campaign Mail?

A Baltimore resident for more than 30 years, Miller’s voting record came up during an online debate this afternoon on NowThis News that included Miller, Vignarajah and Scott.

After Vignarajah criticized a political action committee backing Miller for allegedly targeting white voters while “attacking candidates of color,” Miller tried to turn the tables.

“I am curious why my husband only gets mail from you, and why my son only gets mail from Brandon. I don’t get mail. You’re not targeting me. You’re targeting my white male husband, and you’re targeting my young male son,” she said.

Vignarajah responded that his campaign sends out flyers to “every two-times primary voter in Baltimore City” and suggested that Miller must not have voted in the last two city primaries.

“I am curious why my husband only gets mail from you,” Miller said. That’s probably because you didn’t vote in recent primaries, Vignarajah answered.

His suggestion elicited a rebuke tonight from Miller’s spokesperson, Colleen Mattingly, who denounced Vignarajah for “distracting voters [with] negative campaigning [that] only drives people apart.”

The campaign’s statement confirmed that Miller didn’t vote in the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2018 primaries.

“During the 2010, 2011, and 2012 primaries Mary was leading our nation’s recovery from the Great Recession and gave that her entire focus, just as she will do leading Baltimore through this economic crisis – an issue that voters are focused on,” Mattingly wrote. “She did vote in the 2016 primary. She didn’t vote in the 2018 primary, but did vote in the 2018 general election.”

Mattingly continued, “This is another example of Thiru Vignarajah distracting voters during this crucial election. This kind of negative campaigning only drives people apart when Baltimore so desperately needs to come together as a city.”

UPDATE tonight from Wil Hughes, deputy manager of the Vignarajah campaign:

“I hope Mary’s team appreciates the rich irony of her response – her biggest supporters and best friends spent over $100,000 on negative attacks against us two weeks ago and only shut down when its racist targeting strategies, mirroring Mary Miller’s ‘whites only’ mailer plan, was exposed in a leaked email. It’s almost as ironic as a Mitch McConnell donor invoking Barack Obama’s name and ‘structural racism’ whenever she can.”

Vignarajah voted in the 2016 and 2018 primary and general elections in Baltimore, according to voting records. Prior to that, he was not a city resident.

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