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The original item was published from 9/28/2021 4:32:57 PM to 9/28/2021 4:38:23 PM.

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Posted on: September 28, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Press Release: Annapolis Primary Elections Three Incumbents Fend Off Challenges and Move to the G

Mayor Gavin BuckleyCity of Annapolis Rose and Thistle logo


Public Information Office

160 Duke of Gloucester Street

Annapolis, Maryland 21401


Media Contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724 or

Annapolis Board of Supervisors of Elections Oversees Second Canvass of Primary Election Vote Count
Three Incumbents Fend Off Challenges - Move to the General

Annapolis, MD (September 29, 2021) – The City of Annapolis Board of Supervisors of Elections conducted the third of three vote counting operations on Tuesday morning at the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections office in Glen Burnie to determine the winners of the 2021 City of Annapolis Primary Election. 

The winners are three incumbent councilmembers: Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles with 69 percent of the vote in Ward 3; Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson with 50.5 percent of the vote in Ward 4 and Alderman Ross Arnett with 58 percent of the vote in Ward 8.

Of the eight Annapolis aldermanic wards, only three races were contested in the September 21 primary, including Ward 3 where incumbent Democrat Rhonda Pindell Charles faced challenger Keanuú Smith-Brown; Ward 4 where incumbent Sheila Finlayson faced challenger Toni Strong Pratt; and Ward 8 where incumbent Ross Arnett faced challenger Kathleen (Kati) George. 

The vote counting was conducted across three reports and concluded on Tuesday, September 28 with the final vote canvass. 

  • The first report included 307 votes from Sept. 21 Primary Election Day in-person polling and was reviewed after the polls closed at 8 p.m. on the same day. 

  • The second report, and first canvass, included 414 votes from vote-by-mail and dropbox ballots and took place between 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22 

  • The third report, and final canvass, included 1,056 ballots received after Sept. 16, plus provisional and mail in ballots mailed up to and including on Primary Election Day.

The canvass results are as follows:

Report 1 (in-person votes on Sept 21)

Report 2 (all votes through Sept. 16)


Report 3 
(final canvass on Sept. 28)


WINNER WARD 3: Rhonda Pindell Charles




205 (+5 Provisional)


WARD 3: Keanuú Smith-Brown






WINNER WARD 4: Sheila Finlayson




130 (+4 Provisional)


WARD 4: Toni Strong Pratt




112 (+4 Provisional)


WINNER WARD 8: Ross Arnett




266 (+5 Provisional)


WARD 8: Kathleen (Kati) George




217 (+2 Provisional)


The 2021 municipal election is the first time that the City of Annapolis has conducted Primary and General voting through a vote-by-mail or in-person process. Every Democratic registered voter in Wards 3, 4 and 8 received a Primary Election ballot. Voters also had the option to vote in-person on Primary Election Day. 

VOTE-BY-MAIL & VOTER TURNOUT: The vote-by-mail process was expected to increase voter turnout. In this year’s primary, even without a mayoral race at the top of the ticket, turnout in the three wards with aldermanic challenges had higher turnout than in 2017. In Ward 3, where 1,872 Democratic voters were eligible to cast a ballot, 533 voted (28 percent); in Ward 4, where 1,974 Democratic voters were eligible to cast a ballot, 454 voted (23 percent); and in Ward 8 where 1,992 Democratic voters were eligible to cast a ballot, 783 voted (39 percent). The average voter turnout across all three wards in 2021 was 30 percent. 

Four years ago, when there were both Republican and Democratic mayoral primary challenges at the top of the ticket, turnout for both parties was 17 percent in Ward 3 (where Pindell Charles was uncontested); 17 percent in Ward 4 (where Finlayson won the primary by 14 votes) and 33 percent in Ward 8 (where Arnett won the primary by 130 votes). 

GENERAL ELECTION: The General Election for City of Annapolis voters will take place between October 20, 2021,  when ballots are expected to be mailed to all registered voters in the City, and November 2, 2021 (General Election Day). Voters can return their ballot, postage paid, by US Postal Service; by dropping their completed ballot in any one of eight drop box locations; or vote in-person at the polling place for their ward on General Election Day. For more information, visit:  

Voters have until Monday, Oct. 4 to register, or update their voter registration information , by visiting the FAQs on the City of Annapolis website: or the Maryland Online Voter Registration System:

“We are pleased with the process and the turnout,” said Eileen Leahy, chair of the Board of Supervisors of Elections. “Our goal was to deliver an election that was fair and transparent and accessible for voters. I thank the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections for their professionalism.”

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