It is more important than ever for every registered voter to exercise his or her right to vote and if you’re not registered yet, it’s not too late. Registered voters in Baltimore County may cast ballots by mail, in person or at one of the county’s 11 ballot boxes during early voting in October. Voting n person on Election Day is expected to be challenging since the county’s 230 polling places are being reduced to the 11 centers being used for early voting plus and additional 31 voting centers primarily at area schools. Even with early voting, dealing with safety issues due to COVID-19 will result in long lines. Despite concerns about delivery delays by the U.S. Postal Service, in my opinion, mail-in ballots are a safe alternative to voting in person. You don’t need a reason to request a mail-in ballot — it’s just another way to vote if you don’t want to or can’t go to an early voting center or your polling place.
According to the Baltimore County Board of Elections, ballots will not be mailed automatically. Requests for mail-in ballots will only be mailed automatically to active registered voters. The completed requests need to reach the Board of Elections by Oct. 20. If you are a registered voter and have not received a ballot request by mid-September, you should call the Baltimore County Board of Elections.
Choosing our elected officials allows us to determine which direction this country will take over the course of the next four years. It is an opportunity to have our voices heard. Baltimore County residents have seen how every vote counts. Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr. won the Democratic primary in 2018 by just nine votes!
Additional information regarding mail-in voting is available through the Maryland League of Women Voters’ on-line site. The league is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to register eligible voters and encourage voters to exercise their right to vote. It does not endorse a particular political party nor support any particular candidate. The league’s voter’s guide lists candidates from all political parties and publishes responses to questions in candidates’ own words. The Voter’s Guide is free and available in hard copy or by going on-line to “vote411.org”
Theresa A. Lawler, Timonium
The writer is past co-president of the League of Women Voters of Baltimore County.