In front of an early voting site, a Vignarajah employee defends her candidate
On the east side of Baltimore today, the first day of early voting in Maryland, turnout was light, but the show of force from the candidates, their teams and a veritable forest of campaign signs was heavy.
One such worker was Mary Chapman, positioned ahead of the League for the Disabled, keen to say why she was backing Thiru Vignarajah for state’s attorney against opponents Ivan Bates and incumbent Marilyn Mosby.
“I like that he’s smart enough to get the job done. There’s a lot of built-in crime in Baltimore and I think he understands how to deal with it,” said Chapman, a former investment adviser who now teaches.
“It attracts smart people, that’s important,” added the Tuscany Canterbury resident, who was part of Vignarajah’s 2020 campaign for mayor.
What about reports – one of which broke yesterday – that Vignarajah harassed and abused subordinates in the Baltimore attorney general and state attorney offices where he previously worked?
“That’s what one person was saying and those claims were just unsubstantiated, they were never documented,” Chapman claimed, struggling to be heard above the whizzing traffic of Cold Spring. Lane. “I mean, I’m working on his staff and I don’t see any of that.”
The story was first reported in June by freelance journalist Justine Barron, whose article detailed complaints from several former staffers and included ugly texts from Vignarajah to Katie Dorian, her former legal assistant.
The Baltimore Sun The following article includes several accounts of toxic behavior, including a 2013 incident in which Vignarajah was driving Dorian to a meeting and allegedly pressed the gas and threatened to drive the car into a wall.
Responding to the story, Vignarajah’s campaign did not address the specific allegations but characterized them as an attack by his political enemies.
Early voting available now
Inside the building today, the scene was peaceful as a handful of voters moved quickly through the process.
Election officials said turnout was low – reports were the same at early voting centers around the city.
The centers are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, until July 14, before the primary elections on July 19. To find your polling place, you can plug your address into the state’s online search site.
After a legislative redistricting earlier this year, some voters were accidentally assigned to the wrong constituency. State election officials say the errors have been corrected. To double-check your district, you can go to the officially adopted map of Maryland 2022.
Information for voters, as well as a list of early voting sites, is available on the Baltimore City Board of Elections website.