Absentee Ballot Deadline Extended 10 Days for Overseas Voters

An October 29 Daily Record article describes a ruling by a Federal judge to extend the absentee ballot deadline by 10 days to accommodate service members and other who may be overseas.

The absentee ballot deadline for Tuesday’s election was to be Nov. 12. Judge Titus’ order would push that deadline back to Nov. 22. The ballots must still be postmarked by Nov. 2.

On Oct. 8 — the Friday before the Columbus Day postal holiday — the state began sending ballots for the state and federal races.“Given that international mail to military personnel can take 36 days for round-trip processing, and some absentee ballots for state office sent to these individuals were not likely postmarked until October 12, 2010, even the most diligent absent uniformed services or overseas voter might be unable to return his ballot by November 12th,” Titus wrote.

While the judge was “reluctant to interfere with Maryland’s election machinery,” he found the state’s interest in timeliness was outweighed by the risk of disenfranchising overseas voters.

Additional coverage can be found in the Baltimore Sun.

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