Is Maryland ready to vote? We talk with three local elections experts
It has by no means been smooth sailing for Maryland election officials trying to keep the 2022 primaries on track. Contentious fights about redistricting forced primary election day to be delayed from June 28th to the 19th of July, in the middle of vacation season, at a time when Marylanders are not at all used to casting a ballot. Add to the mix the confusion over what the final district maps looks like, and threats to election workers throughout the country in 2020 that have dampened enthusiasm for signing up to work the polls.
But despite all of that, early voting starts Thursday. Mail in ballots have begun to be collected at drop boxes and through the mail. Polls are scheduled to open at 7:00 AM, two weeks from today.
Today on Midday, a look at what’s different about how, where and when we will cast our ballots this year, and some historic perspective about how MD voters, vote.
A little later, Tom speaks with Armstead Jones, who oversees voting in the city as Elections Director at the Baltimore City Board of Elections; and Hank Greenberg, the Maryland State Director of AARP, which represents the senior demographic that traditionally votes in greater numbers than any other age group. In 2020, 51% of voters aged 18-24 cast a vote. But 76% of seniors, aged 65-74, made sure their voices were heard.
But we begin with the man who knows more about Maryland electoral history than any other person. John T. Willis served as MD Secretary of State from 1995 - 2003. In the 1990s, he served on the MD Commission to Revise the Election Code. And in 2001, he was the Chair of Maryland’s Special Committee on Voting Systems and Election Procedures, which led to landmark election reform measures. He is now executive in residence at the University of Baltimore's School of Public and International Affairs.
John Willis and all our guests join us today on Zoom…
If you have a question or comment about voting, give us a call at 410.662.8780. email to [email protected] or Tweet us: @MiddayWYPR.
Baltimore City residents: If you have requested but not yet received your mail-in or absentee ballot, call the Baltimore City Board of Elections at 410.396.5581.