In the upside-down world of COVID-19, the logistics of Maryland’s special general election on Tuesday and the June 2 statewide primary have evolved by the day.
On Wednesday, the State Board of Elections met for the third time this month to continue hammering out those details, including where you’ll be able to vote in June, where and when you can drop off your ballot for the special election, and when you can expect to find your primary ballot in your mailbox.
What’s new for the 7th Congressional District race?
Two candidates are on the ballot to fill the remaining term of the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died in October: Democrat Kweisi Mfume and Republican Kimberly Klacik. Per an order from GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, the election is being conducted primarily via mail, although limited in-person voting centers will be offered.
Ballots were mailed during the second week of April to the 500,000 registered voters of the district. Voters have begun mailing them to election offices in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County, portions of which make up the district. As of Monday, 3,600 ballots had been returned to Baltimore City, 13,000 to Baltimore County and 6,000 in Howard County, state elections staff reported Wednesday.
While voters are encouraged to return ballots by mail using the postage-paid envelopes included with the packets, they can also return ballots via drop boxes, which will be located at each of the three local elections offices and at in-person voting locations open Election Day.
The three drop boxes located at the elections offices will begin accepting ballots Friday. They will be available between 7 a.m and 8 p.m. each day, including weekends, through Tuesday.
The drop boxes at the voting centers — at Edmondson High School in Baltimore, Martin’s West in Baltimore County and the Howard County fairgrounds — will be available only on Election Day between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
When can I expect to get my ballot for the June 2 primary?
While Tuesday’s election is proceeding on schedule, Maryland’s presidential primary has been delayed until June 2 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Like the special election, all eligible registered voters will be mailed a ballot and voters are asked to return them via mail, if possible.
Ballots for the majority of the 4.1 million eligible registered voters across Maryland will be mailed May 1, elections officials announced Wednesday. However, primary ballots for the approximately 500,000 voters in the 7th District will not be mailed until May 8.
Ballots will be postmarked in Minnesota, where Maryland’s mail vendor is located, so voters should expect them to arrive three to five days after they are mailed.
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Returned ballots must be postmarked by June 2 or dropped in a drop box by 8 p.m. that day to be counted.
Where will the drop boxes be for the June 2 primary and where can I vote in person?
Election officials announced a list of in-person voting locations and drop boxes Wednesday for the primary.
At least one voting center will be offered in each county, as required by an executive order from the governor, and the maximum four centers will be available in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, as well in Baltimore City.
Drop boxes for ballots will be available at each voting center, and all but two of the 24 counties in Maryland will offer an additional location with just a drop box. Drop boxes will be available starting May 21 and remain available through the June 2 primary. The hours for drop boxes have yet to be established.
A full list of voting centers and drop boxes can be viewed here.
Maryland’s June 2 primary includes nominations for the state’s eight U.S. House seats. In Baltimore, citizens will nominate candidates for mayor, City Council president, council seats and city comptroller. The primary is also for U.S. president, although with the withdrawal of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders from the Democratic race, former Vice President Joe Biden is the party’s presumptive nominee.