State Board Reverses Decision to Ban In-Person Voting for Special Congressional Election

State election board reverses decision to ban in-person voting for the special general election on April 28.

ballot-32201_1280The State Board of Elections yesterday reversed a decision to ban in-person voting for the special general election to fill the vacant seat in Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, the board last month supported a mail-only special election, citing health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But state board members said that a mail-only election would likely violate Maryland’s Constitution, and moved forward with a plan to provide limited in-person voting centers for individuals with disabilities, voters without access to mail, and others.

According to The Baltimore Sun:

The board has asked voters to complete the ballots and return them by mail, using the postage-paid envelopes included. Voters also can bring them to drop boxes that have been ordered but not yet installed.

The Seventh Congressional District includes parts of Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County. There are approximately 510,000 registered voters in the Seventh Congressional District. Almost half of the voters in the Seventh Congressional District live in Baltimore City (214,000 voters). Approximately 142,000 voters in this district live in Baltimore County, and approximately 127,000 live in Howard County.

As health officials warn that social distancing and other measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic might be in place months, Governor Larry Hogan last week approved a plan to conduct Maryland’s June 2 presidential primary election primarily via mail-in ballots, with limited in-person voting sites across the state.

“I am strongly urging every Marylander who can vote by mail to cast their ballots by mail,” Hogan said. “In the rare cases where people must vote in-person, significant social distancing measures must be implemented by state and local election officials.”

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Hogan Urges Marylanders to Vote By Mail for Presidential Primary Election

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: States Turn to Election Security Funds to Cover COVID-19 Costs

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Governor Hogan Postpones Presidential Primary Election Amid Coronavirus Epidemic

Conduit Street Podcast: Holding Elections Amid a Pandemic

The Baltimore Sun: Limited in-person voting to be offered April 28 for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District special election

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