As previously reported on Conduit Street, the 7th District special general election will be conducted by mail, with three in-person voting locations available for those who are unable to vote by mail.
As health officials warn that social distancing and other measures to contain the COVID-19 epidemic might be in place for 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.”
The Maryland State Board of Elections has compiled a list of commonly asked questions about the upcoming special election and guidance for residents on how to vote safely and conveniently.
1. Why is there a special election in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District?
The special election is being held to fill the seat left vacant due to the passing of Representative Elijah Cummings.
2. What is the date for the special general election for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District?
Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
3. What is the safest way to vote?
To reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus, voters are strongly encouraged to vote by mail. The State Board of Elections has mailed ballots to all eligible voters in the 7th District. No postage is needed to return your ballot – you will get a postage paid return envelope with your ballot.
4. Do voters need to request a ballot?
No. The State Board of Elections mailed ballots to all eligible active voters in the 7th District on April 8th.
5. What is the deadline by which voters must mail in their ballots?
Voted ballots must be postmarked on or before April 28, 2020.
6. What if a voter can’t vote by mail?
If a voter is unable to vote by mail, three in-person voting centers will be open on April 28th from 7 am to 8 pm. One will be in Baltimore City, one will be in Baltimore County, and one will be in Howard County. The State Board will announce the precise locations soon, and voters unable to vote by mail are encouraged to check http://www.elections.maryland.gov for those locations.
7. How do voters know if they are registered to vote in the 7th District?
If you aren’t sure if you are registered, or at what address, check your voter registration status by visiting http://www.elections.maryland.gov and clicking “Look up your Voter Info.” If you do not have internet access, call 1-800-222-8683 and ask a State Board of Elections representative to check your registration.
8. What kind of identification is required to cast a ballot by mail?
If you are a registered voter in the 7th District and voted before, no identification is required to receive or submit a ballot by mail. A very small number of newly registered voters may need to provide ID with their voted ballots. If you have to provide ID, there will be instructions with your ballot.
9. Can voters register to vote online?
It is possible to register to vote in Maryland elections online. Visit http://www.elections.maryland.gov and click “Register to Vote” to learn more. To receive your ballot in the mail, the deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, April 21, 2020. To receive your ballot electronically, the deadline to register to vote and request that your ballot be sent electronically, is Friday, April 24, 2020. An email address is required to receive your ballot electronically.
10. Is identification required to register to vote?
No, but you must provide some information so election officials can verify your identity.
If you use the State Board’s online system to register, you must enter your Maryland driver’s license number or Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) issued state ID number, the date MVA issued your license or ID card, and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you reside outside of the United States or are a member of the military or spouse or dependent of a member of the military, you must enter the last 4 digits of your US social security number. If you provide a license or State ID number, your signature on file with the MVA will become your official voter registration signature. If you provide a social security number, it will be used as your official voter registration signature.
If you use the paper application to register, you must also provide your Maryland driver’s license number or MVA-issued state ID number if you have one. If you don’t have one, you must provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you don’t have either number, check box 6c. If you check box 6c, you might be required to show ID before voting for the first time.
11. How will voters know that their ballots will be counted?
You can check that your ballot was counted by visiting http://www.elections.maryland.gov and clicking “Look up your Voter Info.” If you do not have internet access, call 1-800-222-8683 and ask a State Board of Elections representative to check the status of your voted ballot. The information will be posted about 10 days after the election.
12. How do voters update their address?
Give the local board of elections where you currently live your new address information. You can use the voter registration application to make the change, or you can submit in writing your new address. Voters must update their address with their local board of elections. For instructions on updating your address, please visit the State Board of Elections website at http://www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/address.html If you want to receive your ballot in the mail, update your information no later than Tuesday, April 21st. If you want to receive your ballot electronically, update your information no later than 5 pm on Friday, April 24th.
For further questions, please visit www.elections.maryland.gov or contact the State Board at 1-800-222-8683.