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In Baltimore County, Some Ballots Are In Early

John Lee

In Baltimore County, some voters are not taking a chance on long Election Day lines. Hundreds have already voted this week by taking their ballots to drop boxes.  

On Thursday afternoon, Karen Kaldal walked from her home, with ballot in hand, to the drop box at Towson University’s South Campus Pavilion on Auburn Drive.

“I wanted to make sure that my vote got in, no question about the postal service or any other interruption, guaranteed delivery,” Kadal said.

Kaldal said COVID-19 is not the only reason she decided to vote via drop box instead of in person.

“Four years ago when I voted in person, I waited an hour and a half in the rain,” Kaldal said. “I figured it’s more efficient this way.”

In 2016, Baltimore County had 230 polling places open on Election Day. This year it will have 42 voting centers. Elections officials statewide are concerned about long lines if too many people decide to vote in person.

Baltimore County put 13 drop boxes in place this week. All are being monitored by security guards.

“People were pulling up to them as they were putting them in place,” said County Elections Director Katie Brown.

You can find out where they are on the county elections board’s web site.

Brown said they have received about 1,200 ballots so far, half by mail, half by drop box. She is expecting about 50 percent of Baltimore County’s 560,000 eligible voters to use a mail-in ballot.

Baltimore County will begin counting ballots on October 12. Those early votes will not be made public until election night.

It is not too late to get your ballot mailed to you, but you have to get your application for the ballot in by October 20.

“It has to be in the office on the 20th, that’s not a postmark thing like the ballots are,” Brown said.

The deadline to register to vote is October 13. In-person early voting in Maryland begins October 26.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2
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