More than 1.5 million Marylanders have asked for a mail-in ballot for this fall’s election. If you want to vote by mail but haven’t applied to get your ballot, time is rapidly running out.
Your application has to be in to the board of elections by this coming Tuesday, October 20. Not postmarked by the 20th, in the office on that date. With just a few days to go, mailing in your application now could be a bit dicey. The state board of elections recommends giving your application five business days to reach local boards of elections in time. That ship has now sailed.
However, you can put your application in one of those ballot drop boxes. Just make sure you do that early enough that they can be in the board of elections office by the 20th. Those boxes typically are being emptied by elections officials at least once a day.
You can go to the state board of elections website and apply. That’s the way to go if you really want to procrastinate. You can wait as late as 11:59 p.m. on the 20th and that will still work, according to an elections spokeswoman.
You also can go to your local board of elections office and get it done in person. Baltimore County Elections Board Director Katie Brown said county voters can hand in their applications at her office, then if they want, be given a ballot on the spot.
Brown cautioned, however, you should only do that as a last resort.
“If that is something someone wants to do they need to bring their patience, because it does take a minute,” Brown said. “It’s not instantaneous. And there are others that are doing that so there may be a wait, but yes that is possible.”
Brown expects about 50% of Baltimore County’s ballots will be cast by mail.
Maryland’s ballots are being printed out of state. According to a State Board of Elections news release, those ballots are being shipped to Maryland, then being dropped in the local mail so they can arrive at your home more quickly.
If you miss the chance to vote by mail, in person early voting begins in Maryland October 26.
Election Day is November 3.