The Maryland State Board of Elections is reminding Marylanders that receiving their 2020 ballot via first-class U.S. mail is free, convenient, and will save time and money for local boards of elections, whose operations are supported by county funding.
In order to protect the health and safety of voters and poll workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Marylanders are encouraged to vote by mail and must request a mail-in ballot from the State Board of Elections or their local board of elections by October 20, 2020. The Board automatically sent most eligible voters an application for a mail-in ballot along with a postage-paid return envelope in late August.
While voters may request that their ballot via email, requesting a ballot by U.S. mail is free, more convenient, and will save time and money for local boards of elections, whose operations are supported by county funding.
When a ballot is sent to a voter through the U.S. Mail, the voter only needs to fill out the ballot, sign and seal the envelope, and return it in the postage-paid return envelope at their earliest convenience. Voted ballots can be mailed to the local election office or dropped into a ballot dropbox.
On the contrary, when a ballot is sent to a voter by email, the voter must print the ballot, fill out the ballot, secure an envelope, and pay for postage. Local election officials are also required to copy any ballot printed on standard paper onto an official ballot to be scanned and counted.
“Receiving your ballot by mail is free and more convenient than receiving it by email,” said Linda Lamone, Administrator of the State Board of Elections. “To save time and money, request that your ballot be mailed. This will also make Maryland’s vote-counting process more efficient because local election judges will not have to hand copy ballots.”
According to the State Board of Elections:
Voters are urged to return their applications for ballots as soon as possible. After receiving a mail-in ballot, there is no need to wait. Complete it, sign the envelope, and send it at your earliest convenience. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked on or before November 3. Putting your ballot in a mailbox on November 3 does not mean it is postmarked. Voters may also drop their voted ballots in a ballot drop box located in their respective jurisdictions. Locations and availability of dropboxes will be announced in the near future.
To learn more about mail-in ballots, ballot drop boxes, early voting, and in-person voting on Election Day, visit elections.maryland.gov/2020.
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