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'The voting crab cakes’: Stephen Colbert explains how to vote in Maryland

Coronavirus-fueled confusion has complicated voting in the upcoming general election to the point it takes Stephen Colbert shouting out all 50 states in a series of unique online videos explaining their respective ballots and processes.

“The Late Show” host featured Maryland on his “Better Know A Ballot” segment in a video posted on YouTube on Monday.

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With Election Day less than a month away, Colbert thought Marylanders, whom he affectionately referred to as “the voting crab cakes,” should know how to vote early and by mail before Nov. 3.

“Everyone knows Maryland is the smartest state in the nation,” Colbert begins in the video. In fact, he begins all 50 videos by pounding his desk before pandering, “everybody knows [insert state] is the smartest state in the nation.”

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Then, after harking back to the Edgar Allan Poe origins of the Ravens' team name, Colbert begins to lay out the specific steps and deadlines for voting in Maryland, all of which is information that can be found in the Baltimore Sun Voter Guide. But, hey, if you’d rather get your local politics information from an Emmy Award-winning comedian over a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, we won’t take it personally.

Colbert starts off by pointing out that the deadline to register to vote online in the Free State is coming up quickly: Oct. 13, by 9 p.m. So, he says, check online to see if you’re registered.

He then points out there are three ways to request an absentee ballot application in Maryland: online, by mail or by phone, but Maryland has mailed ballot applications to all registered voters.

Eligible voters should have already received a mail-in ballot application by mail. If so, it can be returned via mail, fax, online or in-person to your local Board of Elections, which you will be able to find here. Mail-in ballot applications must be received by Oct. 20.

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Once voters complete their ballots, they must ship them back to the address provided on the envelope. (You can also request to receive your ballot via email, but you’ll have to print it out and pay your own postage.) Ballots should be postmarked on or by Nov. 3. But, Colbert says, the U.S. Postal Service recommends sending it no later than Oct. 27.

Ballots can also be hand-delivered to your local Board of Elections, an early-voting center, an Election Day voting center or ballot drop box locations by 8 p.m. Nov. 3.

All Maryland counties will offer early in-person voting Oct. 26 to Nov. 2 at local voting centers listed here. Residents can also vote in-person on Election Day.

Baltimore Sun reporter Emily Opilo contributed to this article.

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