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For Some Baltimore City Voters, Mail-In Ballots Never Arrived

Rachel Baye / WYPR

In what may be the first-ever primary election held during a pandemic, state elections officials urged as many people as possible to mail in their ballot or drop it at a dropbox, rather than go in-person to the polls. But some Baltimore City voters never got their ballots in the mail.

By the time the polls at the University of Maryland Community Engagement Center, in Poppleton, opened at 7 a.m., a line wrapped around the building.

Jernelle Miller was one of several voters who said her ballot never arrived.

"I know my mom got hers late as well, but at least she got hers,” said Miller, who lives near Patterson Park. “I checked and it had my right address. It just never came.”

Trerra Gregory, who lives in Poppleton, said she requested her ballot by fax, but it never showed.

Dale Maholage said he did receive his ballot by email, but he couldn’t print it because of the pandemic.

“I assumed I was gonna be able to print it at work when I signed up for a print ballot, and I don’t have a printer at home,” he said.

Poll workers were strict about voters keeping six feet from one another, as marked on the ground. Signs outside the polling station also reminded voters to keep their faces covered to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The location is one of six in-person polling stations in Baltimore City. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters who did receive their mail-in ballots can drop them off at the polls or one of 15 dropboxes in the city before 8 p.m., or at a post office before it closes for the day.

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Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom.
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