State to Provide More Ballot Drop Boxes, Allow for Earlier Canvassing of Mail-In Ballots

tiffany-tertipes-3lQExS5hl8Q-unsplashThe Maryland State Board of Elections (SBE) yesterday announced that at least 270 ballot drop boxes will be deployed statewide for the 2020 General Election, a significant increase from the 75 made available for the 2020 Primary Election. Delivery of ballot drop boxes to local boards of elections will begin the week of September 28.

The Board also voted to authorize local boards of elections to begin canvassing mail-in ballots no earlier than Thursday, October 1, the earliest start in the nation. Results of canvassing will be embargoed until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3. The canvass is the official tally of votes for the election.

The Board approved Worcester County’s request to use the Roland E. Powell Convention Center as its early voting center, Allegany County’s proposed Election Day vote center locations, and Dorchester County’s proposed Election Day vote centers. The center locations in each jurisdiction are available from the respective local boards of elections.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, Governor Larry Hogan last week approved an SBE plan to designate each of Maryland’s 282 high schools as vote centers — places where any county resident can vote, regardless of their precinct — for the November 3 election.

Each registered voter who has not already requested a mail-in ballot will be mailed a mail-in ballot application. In the meantime, voters who know they want to vote-by-mail may request a mail-in ballot via the SBE.

How to Request a Mail-In Ballot

Any registered voter may vote by mail-in ballot. Marylanders do not need a reason to vote by mail-in ballot. It is simply another way for residents to vote if they do not want to or cannot vote an early voting center or vote center.

There are three ways a resident can request a mail-in ballot.

* SBE will mail this form to each eligible voter who hadn’t already requested a ballot. If you already submitted a form, you do not need to submit another one. Use SBE’s Voter Look-Up website to check that you submitted a request.

In order to receive a mail-in ballot for the general election, SBE must receive the request by October 20, 2020.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: MACo on General Election: State Should Pay Extra Ballot Costs

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: State Board to Governor: Designate All High Schools as Vote Centers On Election Day

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Local Officials Make Final Appeal to Avoid “Catastrophic Failure” on Election Day

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Hogan Demands Update on Mail-In Ballots, Polling Places for Nov Election

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Local Election Directors: Emergency Pollworker Shortage Will Lead to Long Lines, Voter Confusion

Letter from MAEO (July 23, 2020)

Conduit Street Podcast: Wrestling With Reopening

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: State Board Seeks Additional $20M for Nov Election

Letter from State Administrator LindaLamone (July 21, 2020)

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Several County Leaders Ask Hogan to Reconsider Directive for Nov Election

County Letter to Governor Hogan (July 14, 2020)

Maryland Congressional Delegation Letter to Governor Hogan (July 9, 2020)

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Local Election Directors Ask Hogan to Reject “Ill-Advised” Plan for Nov Election

State Board of Elections: Report on June 2 Election & Recommendations for November 3 Election

MAEO Letter to Governor Hogan (July 6, 2020)

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Local Election Administrators Urge (Mostly) Vote-By-Mail Election in November

Conduit Street Podcast: A View From the Senate

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Senate Leaders Outline Roadmap for November Election

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Maryland Senate Republicans Oppose Statewide Vote-By-Mail Election in November

Letter to State Board of Elections from Senate Republican Caucus

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

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Today: House-Senate Joint Committee Briefing to Review Primary Election

Conduit Street Podcast: Holding Elections Amid a Pandemic