Updated: Apr 29
On Friday April 10, Governor Hogan approved the Maryland Board of Elections “Comprehensive Plan for the June 2 Primary Election”. That plan calls for the election to be conducted by mail, with a very limited number of Early Vote and Primary Day ballot drop-off locations.
See the Maryland Board of Elections plan here:
So – what does that mean for voters? What should you expect? What can you do NOW to ensure your oh-so-important vote is counted? Voting is a right, a privilege – and I believe a civic duty!
What we know now:
· The Board of Elections will mail a primary ballot to every registered voter
· That ballot will include prepaid return postage
· There will be a mechanism for voters to access the primary ballot electronically – to either download, print and complete by hand OR complete the ballot online, then download, print and sign. However – ballots must be mailed, or taken to a ballot drop-off location. You can’t submit your ballot electronically.
· Four ballot drop-off locations will be open in Montgomery County during early voting - May 21-May 28 – and on Primary Day – June 2 – where voters will be able to hand deliver their mail-in ballots.
· On Primary Day – June 2 – ONLY -Voters unable to vote by mail will be able to vote in person at the ballot drop-off locations
What should I do now?
- Go to the Montgomery County Board of Elections website – link below – and check your voter registration.
o Make doubly sure your mailing address is correct and current – see below – your residential and mailing addresses MAY BE DIFFERENT.
o NOTE: during the Covid-19 response, some individuals have temporarily relocated away from their permanent place of residence. Voters may list different residential and mailing addresses in their Voter Registration information. The Board of Elections is urging voters to check their Voter Registration details and make sure the mailing address on record accurately reflects where they are receiving mail during the Primary election cycle, and make any necessary changes. This should be done ASAP
- If you’re not registered – register now. You can do that online on the Board of Elections website, or download a voter registration form to complete by hand.
o Deadline to register, and have a ballot mailed to you, is May 27 .
o If you’re mailing your registration it must be postmarked no later than May 27
o If you’re registering online your registration must be complete by 9pm on May 27.
- Periodically check the Board of Elections website for any new details or information.
Montgomery County Board of Elections website: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections/index2.html
Montgomery County Ballot Drop-off locations:
As required by the Governor’s order and the State Board of Elections “Comprehensive Plan for the 2020 Primary Election”, the Montgomery County Board of Elections has selected four of the county’s Early Vote sites to serve as ballot drop-off locations. They are:
- Praisner Community Recreation Center - 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville
- Silver Spring Civic Center - 1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring
- Activity Center at Bohrer Park - 506 S. Frederick Ave, Gaithersburg, MD
- Germantown Community Recreation Center - 18905 Kingsview Rd, Germantown
According to the State Board of Elections website, Ballot Drop-off locations will be open from 10a-8p from Thursday May 21-Thursday May 29, and from 7a-8p on Primary Day – June 2.
What about Maryland “same-day voter registration”?
Technically Maryland now has same-day voter registration for both Primary and General elections. It’s not yet clear, but presumably you could go to one of the ballot drop-off locations on June 2, register and vote.
If you do that, you must go with both proof of address and proof of identity. The website lists documents acceptable. However – there’s still a chance you could only cast a provisional ballot – meaning not counted until your registration information is verified. Why take that chance?? Go online now and get all your voter registration ducks in a row.
Important Information for Students!!
Did you know that in Maryland:
· You can register to vote at age 16
· If you will be 18 on or before the date of the General Election – this year November 3 – you can vote in the preceding primary…. So that means THIS primary! And YES that means you can vote before you turn 18, so long as you’re registered, and your 18th birthday is on or before November 3.