Maryland voters will be able to vote in-person at their assigned polling location.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan instructed election officials in a letter to make sure that every early voting center and all polling locations were open for the presidential election “to accommodate anyone who wishes to cast their ballot safely and in person.”
Hogan also told the state’s Board of Elections to mail out an absentee ballot request to all eligible voters.
He wrote that “every effort should be made to promote early voting, absentee voting by mail, and voting at off-peak times as safe and efficient options.”
“The fundamental responsibility of the State Board of Elections is to conduct free and fair elections in a manner that facilitates maximum voter participation,” Hogan wrote in the letter. “This approach—which is already fully authorized by existing state law—will maximize participation in the November election by offering voters more options while minimizing confusion and risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The state will provide poll workers with personal protective equipment. He said state employees will be asked to help run the polls to cover any staffing shortages.
“While I know you have been inundated with suggestions from political leaders in both parties and special interest groups to change the electoral process, this discussion should not be subject to undue partisanship or political influence,” Hogan told election officials. “Providing citizens with accessible, accountable, and transparent ways to cast their ballot is an essential component of our democratic republic and your primary responsibility.”
During last month’s primary election, Maryland mailed ballots to all voters.
The state experienced issues with the mail-in ballots, according to The Baltimore Sun. Some ballots arrived to voters late and others said they never received them. For people who went to cast their ballots in person, they were met with long lines.
Hogan said the issues are “completely unacceptable.”
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