Your Maryland ballot isn’t in the mail. It hasn’t even been printed yet.
August 19, 2020
By: Emily Opilo
Read the full article here.
As concern mounts over U.S. Postal Service delivery delays, many Maryland voters have requested mail ballots for the November election. But don’t expect that ballot to arrive tomorrow, or even the day after that. In this photo Tuesday in Orange County, Florida, Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles shows a vote-by-mail ballot counting room. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel)
As concerns mount over delays in U.S. Postal Service deliveries, many Maryland residents — 248,257 to be exact — have tried to get ahead by requesting ballots for the November election.
But there’s no point in checking the mailbox yet: State election officials won’t start printing ballots until next month.
According to a schedule that Election Administrator Linda Lamone sent state legislators, the ballots are slated to be finalized Aug. 31. Printing begins Sept. 3, with the mailing of ballots to Maryland addresses set to begin Sept. 24.
That schedule isn’t altogether unusual. State election law calls for absentee ballots to be sent 45 days before an election.
But 2020 is far from a typical election year. The country remains in the grasp of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving many people pause about voting in person, and the last two weeks have been dominated by news of delays in mail deliveries and the removal of sorting machines at post offices across the country.
Ballot certification is actually happening earlier this year — but not because of the coronavirus. For the 2018 election, ballots had to be certified 55 days before the general election or Sept. 12. The requirement is now 64 days in advance, or Aug. 31.