PRESS RELEASE: Final Elections Results Will Be Significantly Delayed

Senator Cheryl C. Kagan
District 17 (Rockville & Gaithersburg)
(ANNAPOLIS, MD) Sen. Cheryl Kagan published an OpEd in the Washington Post, discussing the impending delays in tabulation and certification of the 2022 Primary Elections as a result of Governor Hogan’s veto of her legislation.
Gov. Larry Hogan made the perplexing and irresponsible decision to veto Kagan’s election reform bill (SB163), which had been endorsed by the MD Association of Counties, the MD Association of Election Officials, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and other advocacy organizations. A key component was authorizing early processing of mail-in ballots eight days before the start of Early Voting, helping to ease the strain on election workers and get more complete election results earlier.
“Maryland is the only state that specifically forbids opening and scanning mail-in ballots until two days after Election Day,” Kagan explained. “Two years ago, Gov. Hogan allowed ballots to be counted a full 33 days early. Now, with Presidential aspirations and on ‘vacation’ in New Hampshire, partisan pandering has clouded his judgment. His veto will feed into conspiracy theories about fraud by forcing us to wait weeks for election results to be certified.”
This year, our Local Boards of Election (LBEs) have been struggling with unprecedented challenges, including but not limited to:
  • Delays in the approval of redistricting maps, leading to a later start in planning;
  • A rescheduled Primary Election Day that leaves significantly less time between the Primary and General elections; and
  • Historic increases in requests for both mail-in and Internet-delivered ballots.
NOTE: Without early canvassing of ballots for the General Election, we may not know who the County Executives, County Councilmembers, and County Commissioners will be before they are required by law to be sworn in on the first Monday in December.
Below is an excerpt from Kagan’s Op-Ed, offering guidance to voters:
“So what can you do about this?
  • If you requested a mail-in ballot, complete it. Sign the oath on the envelope and send it (postage-paid) through the post office or slip it into a convenient, secure, video-monitored drop-off box before 8 p.m. Tuesday. If you try voting in person after having requested a mail-in ballot, you’ll only be allowed to cast a provisional ballot, which won’t be counted until a week after Election Day.
  • Don’t ask for an online-delivered ballot. Though it sounds quick and easy, it’s not. Voters will need a printer, an envelope, a stamp and more. Then, the local elections staffers need to hire bipartisan teams to transfer your selections to scannable ballot stock. This process makes more work for voters and is supremely time-consuming and expensive for election administrators. Your ballot will be counted even later than mail-in ballots.
  • Share the expectation of delayed results with your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. Correct their rumors, allay their fears and express your confidence in our election systems.”
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Senator Kagan (D-District 17) is in her second term representing Gaithersburg and Rockville. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Education, Health, & Environmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over election law. Kagan is also Vice Chair of the Elections & Redistricting Committee for the National Conference of State Legislators. She is active on social media and can be found on Facebook at Sen. Cheryl Kagan, on Twitter at @CherylKagan, on Instagram at @CherylCKagan, and YouTube at Sen. Cheryl Kagan.