Maryland’s Congressional Delegation yesterday wrote to Governor Larry Hogan to express concerns with his plan to proceed with in-person voting for the November 3 general election.
The lawmakers called on Governor Hogan to rescind his directive and issue new guidance to maximize safety and voter participation. As previously reported on Conduit Street, under Governor Hogan’s plan, all in-person voting locations will be open and voters will be mailed an application to request an absentee ballot.
While the Delegation agrees that limited polling locations should be available for Marylanders to vote in-person, the lawmakers are concerned that there are not enough resources to sufficiently open and staff all polling locations.
“Maryland voters expect and deserve free, fair, and safe elections, and we are alarmed that your directive does not meet that basic standard,” the Delegation wrote. “We call on you to rescind the directive and issue new guidance designed to maximize both safety and voter participation by mailing ballots for the general election to all registered voters, as was done in the primary.”
As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Maryland Association of Election Officials — the professional membership organization comprised of local election officials and Election Boards from all 24 jurisdictions — last month endorsed a plan for the election to be conducted primarily via mail, with more in-person voting centers and five days of in-person early voting.
MAEO this week sent a letter to the governor urging him to reject an “ill-advised” plan to mail absentee ballot applications (instead of absentee ballots) to voters in advance of Maryland’s 2020 general election.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, Senate President Ferguson and Chair of the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee Paul Pinsky recommended a “hybrid mail-in ballot preferred election” in November. The Senate Republican Caucus called for Maryland to hold a traditional election in November, noting that voters can request an absentee ballot if they choose not to vote in person.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.