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MD Election Day: Redistricting, misplaced voters, delayed returns

Maryland Family Network
It's Primary Election Day in Maryland. As voters go to the polls across the state, there are a number of significant problems affecting this essential democratic process.

It’s Primary Election Day in Maryland. Polls opened at 7:00 Tuesday morning. They will remain open until 8:00 tonight. If you’re voting with a mail-in ballot, you have until 8:00 tonight to drop your ballot in a drop box, or have it postmarked.

If you are an eligible voter who has not yet registered to vote, it’s not too late. You may register at your polling place. Go to the MD Board of Elections website to find out where your polling place is.

Polling places for some voters have changed since the last time we voted, because MD adopted new districts, based on data from the 2020 Census. The districts proposed by Democrats in the General Assembly were challenged in court, and the legal wrangling took some time to sort out, causing election officials to delay the primary until today. It was originally scheduled to take place three weeks ago, on June 28th.

So, if you’re a voter who is a little confused about what’s going on this time around, you’re not alone. And, as it turns out, there’s been plenty of confusion on the part of some election officials as well.

Tom's next guest is Joan Jacobson, a former reporter for the Baltimore Sun and the author of two books. She lives in Baltimore City, and she encountered all sorts of problems in her efforts to get a correct mail-in ballot. She is visiting family in Florida, where she joins us on Zoom…

Then, Tom speaks with Brenda Wintrode, who covers state government, agencies and policies for our partner news organization, The Baltimore Banner…

While polls close at 8:00 tonight, acceptance and concession speeches, a usual part of election nights, will likely not take place tonight. Results in the statewide races may not be known for several days, or longer, given that about a half a million voters requested mail-in ballots, and officials can’t begin to count them until Thursday morning.

When we have questions about voting, and the history of voting in MD, we turn to John Willis. He served as MD Secretary of State from 1995 - 2003. He is executive in residence at the University of Baltimore, and a scholar of all things electoral in MD and beyond. John Willis joins us on Zoom…

(L-R) Joan Jacobson, Baltimore voter; Brenda Wintrode, reporter, The Baltimore Banner; John T. Willis, executive-in-residence at UBalt School of Public and Int'l Affairs. (courtesy photos)

Again, the polls close at 8:00 tonight. Matt Tacka and Tom Hall will have live coverage of some of the early returns tonight starting at 8:00, and stay tuned to WYPR for complete coverage of Primary results on Wednesday and throughout the days ahead as we track the results and find out who the major party nominees will be.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.