Maryland 2020 primary voting guide: Everything you need to know

The coronavirus pandemic has led to sweeping changes in working, going to school and, now, voting in Maryland.

The primary election, which takes place June 2, will be conducted primarily through the mail — a first for the state.

See everything you need to know below.

  • Q: When is the primary?
  • The primary takes place Tuesday, June 2. Originally, the election was planned for April 28. But Gov. Larry Hogan pushed back the date of the primary to give officials more time to come up with a plan for carrying out the primary with enhanced safety measures because of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Q: What does having a “vote by mail” election mean?
  • The June 2 primary will primarily be a “vote by mail” election, under a plan from the State Board of Elections ratified by the governor.

    This means the board of elections will automatically mail ballots to all eligible voters. You do not need to ask for a ballot to receive one.

  • Q: When will I get my mailed ballot?
  • The board of elections said it plans to start mailing ballots in early to mid-May. It will mail the ballots to the address it has on file. All mailed ballots will include a return envelope and prepaid postage.

  • Q: What's on the ballot?
  • In Maryland, voters are weighing in on the presidential contest. A number of Democratic candidates are still on the ballot, but former Vice President Joe Biden is the only one still running. Voters of both parties will select delegates to this summer’s Republican and Democratic Party conventions.

    All eight congressional seats in the U.S. House are up for grabs this year. Neither of Maryland’s two Senate seats are on the ballot.

    In Montgomery County, 13 candidates are running for one open At-Large seat on the Board of Education. Voters will pick one.

    Voters will make a selection in the Board of Education District 4 race where three candidates are running.

    In Baltimore City, a whopping two dozen Democratic candidates are running in the special mayoral election. Disgraced ex-Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned last year and was later sentenced to a three-year prison term on federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges.

    See your county’s sample ballot below:

  • Q: Do I need ID to vote by mail?
  • If you are already a registered voter and have voted before, you won’t need any ID to receive or submit a ballot by mail. However, the state board of elections said a “small number of newly registered voters” may need to provide ID with their completed ballots. If you have to provide ID, there will be instructions with your ballot. 

  • Q: What if I need to change my address?
  • The deadline to update your information was Wednesday, May 27.

  • Q: What if I'm not registered by election day?
  • Maryland voters can still register to vote in-person on election day at their polling place, with proof of address in hand.

  • Q: How will I know if my ballot was counted with a vote by mail?
  • You can see the status of your absentee ballot online using the Voter Lookup tool


  • Q: What if I can’t vote by mail? 
  • If you can’t vote by mail, there will be at least one voting center open in each county in Maryland. In more populous counties, there will be more voting centers. For example, there will be five voting centers each in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and in Baltimore City. 

    You can visit the voting centers if you didn’t receive a ballot in the mail. 

    The voting locations will be open on June 2 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

    You can see the full list of voting centers on the board of elections website



Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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