Election Officials to Voters: Ignore Inaccurate Postal Service Mailers

The State Board of Elections (SBE) yesterday said that portions of a United States Postal Service postcard sent to voters regarding vote-by-mail options are “inconsistent” with state guidelines.

The postcard — mailed nationwide last week — tells voters to request mail ballots at least 15 days before the election. In Maryland, local boards of elections must receive a voter’s request for a mail-in ballot by October 20.

SBE automatically sent most eligible voters an application for a mail-in ballot along with a postage-paid return envelope in late August. When requesting a ballot by mail, voters should leave at least five business days for the United States Postal Service to deliver the application to the local board of elections. Mail-in ballots will be sent via first-class mail to the address the voter provides on the ballot request.

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. There will be about 270 ballot drop boxes throughout the state. The locations of the ballot drop boxes will be posted at elections.maryland.gov/2020 soon and will be included with mail-in ballot packets.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

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