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Voting by mail could prove a great advancement - if Marylanders make an effort to participate | READER COMMENTARY

The official ballot for the special election on Tuesday, April 28 for Maryland's 7th Congressional District.
The official ballot for the special election on Tuesday, April 28 for Maryland's 7th Congressional District.(Baltimore Sun staff/Baltimore Sun)

As the Maryland State Board of Elections quickly pivots to mail-in ballots, we must all be vigilant in making sure we receive our ballots, fill them out properly and return them well before the deadline, if possible (“Maryland elections board fills in blanks: Where are the drop boxes? When will I get my ballot? Where can I vote in person?” April 22).

Drop off at the post office if you can. No need for a stamp, the postage is paid. The Congressional 7th District election is the first test of voting by mail in Maryland. The election board is basically using the absentee ballot process, utilized in the past on an “as requested” basis, but now they are sending absentee ballots to every registered voter. There will be limited voting in person for those with disabilities or with limited English.

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This same process will be used for the June 2, Maryland presidential primary. Because the board will need to count each ballot (no touch screen voting except in limited cases), we should not expect to learn the outcome of the election right away.

If we do this right, we might actually see an increase in voter turnout over time. Voting by mail can be a great thing, but the state board of elections will need our patience as they convert to this new system. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing our voting opportunities increase with the addition of voting by mail. If you did not receive a ballot, please contact your county board of elections.

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Let’s do this, Maryland!

Wendy J. Royalty, Ellicott City

The writer is executive director of Our Maryland, Inc.

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