"Fake" Sample Ballot Confuses Voters
School Board Candidate Mark Cook distributed an advertisement that closely resembles Dist. 21 Democratic team's sample ballot.
An advertisement from District 2 Board of Education candidate Mark Cook made to resemble a sample ballot issued by the Dist. 21 Democratic team has caused confusion among some constituents and inspired anger among the Dist. 21 team, whose photos appear on Cook's pamphlet despite their endorsement of his opponent, Peggy Higgins.
Both the sample ballot and the advertisement feature photos of Sen. Jim Rosapepe (D-Dist. 21), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), County Executive candidate Rushern Baker (D) and Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-Dist. 5). The top of Cook's advertisement is printed with the words "Support President Obama's Team" and "The Democratic Sample Ballot."
However, the Dist. 21 team made it clear in an email to voters that they do not support Mark Cook.
"How do we know it's fraudulent?" the email asks. "It uses our photos...without our permission, to imply that we support Mr. Cook."
"It is not true. We do not support Mr. Cook," it said.
The "real" sample ballot, financed by the Democratic team's campaign funds, features a green Dist. 21 logo. Even so, Sen. Rosapepe said his office fielded a number of calls from voters, who were confused about the conflicting message that Cook's advertisement sent.
Rosapepe refused to speculate about Cook's motives behind the creation of the ad.
"You'll have to ask Mark Cook why he did it," Rosapepe said.
Neither Cook nor his opponent, Peggy Higgins, were available for comment.