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More than 450 mailed ballots returned ahead of Annapolis primary elections

Dan Oltman, Precinct and Polling Place Manager prepares a ballot dropbox placed at the Michael E. Busch Annapolis Library in Ward 2 last month. Annapolis voters have begun returning their ballots to the eight ballot drop boxes located at each voting precinct in the city for the upcoming Sept. 21 primary election. They have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to return their ballots.
Dan Oltman, Precinct and Polling Place Manager prepares a ballot dropbox placed at the Michael E. Busch Annapolis Library in Ward 2 last month. Annapolis voters have begun returning their ballots to the eight ballot drop boxes located at each voting precinct in the city for the upcoming Sept. 21 primary election. They have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to return their ballots. (Jeffrey F. Bill/Capital Gazette)

Ahead of this Tuesday’s Annapolis primary elections, more than 450 people have returned their ballots to dropboxes or by mail.

As of Thursday morning, county election workers — who visit the eight dropboxes twice daily throughout the city — have collected 416 ballots; another 41 have been returned through the mail to the county’s P.O. box.

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The returned ballots amount to just under 8% of those ballots mailed to 5,811 Democratic voters in Ward 3, Ward 4 and Ward 8 about two weeks ago. Voters can return their ballots to any dropbox in the city until polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots that are mailed back must be postmarked by Election Day to be counted.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday for anyone who wishes to vote in person.

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Election officials have said they anticipate the new vote-by-mail to boost voter turnout.

So far, the number of returned ballots is equal to 33% of the 1,383 Democratic voters who voted in wards 3, 4 and 8 in the 2017 primary election.

A third of returned ballots are from the dropbox in Ward 8 located at the Eastport Volunteer Fire Hall at 914 Bay Ridge Ave.

The second-most popular dropbox has been at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center in Ward 5 where 120 ballots have been returned. Although the ward does not have a contested primary election, the facility is a popular gathering spot for residents and the box is placed in the parking lot, which allows voters to drive up to it.

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Drop boxes are open 24/7 and are monitored by cameras.

Ward 3 and Ward 4 dropboxes have collected 72 and 29 ballots, respectively. Ward 2 has also been popular, receiving 35 ballots so far. All other dropboxes have received between seven and 16 ballots.

All ballot locations can be found on the city’s website: https://www.annapolis.gov/1813/The-Polling-and-Drop-Box-Locations.

For the answers to other questions about the 2021 Annapolis election visit our FAQ here: https://www.capitalgazette.com/politics/ac-cn-annapolis-elections-faq-2021-20210813-22a7tppxzja5fp44q2hduvo2ee-story.html.

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