Maryland’s State Board of Elections began sending about 800,000 mail-in ballots to voters over the weekend.
To speed up the delivery process, out-of-state vendors shipped large batches of ballots to Maryland, where they subsequently entered the local mail stream as first-class mail.
“The quicker you can get into the mail stream in Maryland, the quicker people will get them,” Patrick J. Hogan, Vice Chair of the Maryland Board of Elections, said at a board meeting last Thursday.
The board also sent its first set of emailed ballots to voters last week; those who requested a ballot via web delivery should look for an email from an account ending in “@marylandelections.us.”
The state board is encouraging Marylanders to vote by mail as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Voters will have the option of casting a ballot in person on Election Day at more than 300 polling places across Maryland. In-person early voting begins Oct. 26.
The state mailed applications for mail-in ballots to eligible Maryland voters over the summer. So far, they’ve gotten back more than a million of them. The applications must be received by Oct. 20.