ROCKVILLE, Md. — Maryland voters who have not received a vote-by-mail ballot for the upcoming June 2 primary election by Tuesday, May 26 are being advised to contact their local board of elections to arrange for a replacement, according to authorities with the State Board of Elections.
Three-and-a-half million ballots have been mailed in an effort to limit in-person voting to protect against crowded polls and the spread of coronavirus.
But the mailing of about 60,000 ballots to residents of Montgomery County were delayed due to problems with a contractor responsible for printing and distributing ballots. The delayed ballots are due for delivery no later than Saturday.
Only sharply limited in-person voting will be available on June 2 at a dramatically reduced numbers of polling places in Maryland's counties, according to Nikki Charlson, the deputy administrator of Maryland's State Board of Elections. Charlson said Maryland's voting by mail and absentee voting system is secure.
"Our process is secure and safe," Charlson said. "We're fortunate that we had a smaller election to fill the seat for Congressman Cummings, and we implemented vote by mail on a smaller scale. That taught us that our procedures in place for absentee voting, which we've had in Maryland for decades, can be scaled up to do vote by mail."
Voters must be sure to sign the envelope supplied to mail back the ballot. Unsigned ballots return envelopes will not be counted.
Each envelope is bar-coded and numbered to track its secure status and prevent double voting. Once opened, the ballot inside has no identifying information and cannot be tracked to a specific voter.
Voters who have not received ballots can be reissued a ballot by mail if a request is made by Wednesday. Voters may also download a ballot electronically from the local board of elections websites. Downloaded ballots must be printed and mailed back. Counties will provide drop boxes for people who chose not to mail ballots.
In Montgomery County, voters may use the text function on their smartphones to handle voting issues. Typing the word "check" to 777888 will tell voters the status of their registration and ballot, according to Gilberto Zelaya of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
The State Board of Elections has posted an instructional video that will walk voters through the process of voting by mail.