The upcoming primary election will be primarily a mail-in election, with very limited in-person voting on Election Day only. The plan prepared by the State Board of Elections for Governor Hogan’s approval sets out procedures for the mailing of ballots as well as the operation of a very limited number of facilities for in-person voting on Election Day, June 2. There will be no in-person Early Voting.
Because of the risk of transmitting the Covid-19 virus wherever large numbers of people are gathered, voters are strongly encouraged to vote by mail. You should use in-person voting only if it is not possible to vote by mail. An outline of the current election plan is as follows.
Voting by Mail
Most voters will cast their ballots by mail for the presidential primary scheduled for June 2, 2020. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters on the active voter registration list. An envelope with prepaid postage for returning the ballot will be included in the packet. Please note that, as always in Maryland, this primary is a “closed primary”. Voters will receive a Republican or Democratic ballot if they are affiliated with one of those parties. As there are no nonpartisan races (such as Board of Education) on the ballot in Baltimore County, voters in our county who are not affiliated with the Republican or Democratic parties will not receive ballots.
Ballots will be mailed with instructions for marking and returning them to the Board of Elections. Follow the instructions carefully – you must sign an oath that accompanies the ballot. Failure to complete the return envelope correctly may result in your ballot not being counted.
Ballots must be postmarked no later than the evening of June 2 in order to be counted, but voters are encouraged to return them earlier if possible. (The exact time is still subject to change.) The Board of Elections website includes a form where you can check to see if your ballot was received.
In addition to returning ballots by mail, voters may also choose to return their ballots using secure drop boxes during what would have been Early Voting (May 21 – May 28) and on Election Day, June 2. Each county will have between one and four of these drop boxes. The details for Baltimore County are not yet available.
Protect your ballot -- Do not give your ballot to anyone who offers to collect ballots. Put it directly in the U.S. Mail or a Board of Elections drop box.
Limited In-Person Voting
Voters who need to use a ballot marking device, those registering to vote for the first time, and those who did not receive their ballot but believe they are registered, will be able to vote in person on Election Day, June 2, from 7 am to 7 pm at voting centers that will be set up in each county. There will be at least one voting center in each county, but no more than four. This is in contrast to Baltimore County’s usual 237 polling places. The locations of the Baltimore County voting centers are not yet available.
The voting centers will follow the CDC’s recommendations for polling places. Nonetheless, because of the risk of transmitting the Covid-19 virus wherever large numbers of people are gathered, voters are strongly encouraged to vote by mail if at all possible and to use in-person voting only if it is not possible to vote by mail.
Voters Who Have Moved or Missed an Election
Ballots will be mailed only to active voters, using the address on file with the Board of Elections. If a mailing from the Board of Elections was returned because you had moved or were temporarily at another address and you have missed voting in the past 4 years, you may have been placed on the inactive voter list. You will not be sent a ballot unless you notify the Board of Elections of your current address.
- You can check to see if your voter registration on the State Board of Elections website.
- Use the same website to update your address if it is not correct.
- If you are temporarily staying at another location and would like your ballot sent there, you should request an absentee ballot – you can do this on the State Board of Elections website.
Voters with Disabilities
Each voting center will have ballot marking devices for use by any voter who would have difficulty reading and marking a paper ballot. Maryland also offers the option of internet delivery of a ballot, with an online ballot marking tool that is compatible with adaptive technology to enable those with disabilities to access the internet. To request internet delivery of your ballot, apply for an absentee ballot on the State Board of Elections website, but you will need access to a printer and postage to use this option as the ballot cannot be returned via the internet.
If you registered to vote where you attended college and have since returned home, you may use the State Board of Elections website to:
If you had already applied for an absentee ballot to be mailed to your college address, contact your local Board of Elections to ask how to cancel your absentee ballot application. If you are unable to change your absentee ballot delivery, you may be able to vote a provisional ballot on June 2 at a voting center in the county where you are registered.
If you do not make these changes, your ballot will be mailed to your college address and cannot be forwarded – you risk losing your right to vote.