With Election Day Looming, Mail-In Voters Urged To Use Ballot Drop Boxes | WYPR

With Election Day Looming, Mail-In Voters Urged To Use Ballot Drop Boxes

Oct 28, 2020

Meeri Kangas hands out free donuts to people waiting in line to vote at Oregon Ridge in Baltimore County.
Credit John Lee

More than one million Marylanders have now cast their ballots by mail.

If you have a mail-in ballot but have not yet sent it in, election officials say you need to take action.

Mail in ballots postmarked by November 3, Election Day, will be counted, as long as they are received by the 13th. But to be certain, Baltimore County Elections Board Director Katie Brown recommended sticking it in a ballot drop box instead.

“We have 44 drop boxes available throughout the county, so there’s one near them somewhere,” Brown said.

Ballot drop box locations are available on the state board of elections website.

Judy Morris, who lives in Hunt Valley, never received her mail-in ballot, so she went to the county elections office to reapply and  got it on the spot.

“Filled it out right there and dropped it in, easy peasy,” Morris said.

If you received a mail-in ballot, elections officials highly recommend you use it rather than showing up to vote in person. If you do try to vote in person, you will have to use a provisional ballot so they can be sure you haven’t voted twice.

Meantime, long lines continue at early voting centers. Brown said the longest wait in the county so far was at Randallstown on Monday, where it took nearly four hours for some people to vote.

“With social distancing it’s hard,” Brown said. “We can only bring so many in the room at a time, and keep them social distanced inside.”

People waiting in line Wednesday at the Oregon Ridge early voting center got a treat. Meeri Kangas was handing out free donuts. She said she got them from the organization Pizza to the Polls, which sends free food to people waiting in line to vote.

“When I got in line the line was super long so I sent a picture to Pizza to the Polls,” Kangas said. “Then they sent me a text message saying ‘great, we’ve verified your photo. We have ordered food.’”

Voting centers statewide are open from 7 am until 8 pm through Monday, November 2. The final day of voting is Election Day, November 3.