Maryland’s primary ballots will soon begin arriving in the mail

maryland presidential primary
A graphic created by the Montgomery County Board of Elections for the upcoming vote-by-mail presidential primary in the state. (Courtesy Montgomery County Board of Elections)

Maryland residents will start receiving ballots for the June 2 presidential primary arriving in their mailboxes over the next few weeks.

Like Tuesday’s race for Maryland’s Congressional 7th District seat, the primary will be conducted mostly by mail.

The decision to go to a vote-by-mail election came from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order issued April 10 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The vote-by-mail ballots don’t require stamps, and can be mailed through the post office or dropped off at elections offices or designated ballot drop off locations.

If voters are mailing their ballots through the U.S. Postal Service, they can send them in as soon as they fill them out.

They must be postmarked by June 2.

Maryland 2020 primary voting guide: Everything you need to know

For voters who prefer to drop off their ballots at the designated locations in their area, they can do that between May 21 and June 2.

For voters who can’t vote by mail, or for those who didn’t receive a ballot, there will be voting centers set up in each jurisdiction.

Montgomery and Prince George’s counties will each have five voting centers.

Voters will be choosing from among the candidates in the race for the White House and the House of Representatives.

There will also be candidates in local races including boards of education and judicial contests.

Gilberto Zelaya is Montgomery County’s Board of Elections Outreach Coordinator and Public Information Officer.

While the ballots in the June 2 primary are postage-paid, so voters don’t have to put stamps on them to mail them, Zelaya said voters should be aware that the ballots have to be signed.

“There’s a voter affirmation on the back of the envelope — it’s impossible to miss,” Zelaya said, although sometimes voters do skip signing the oath.

In that case, the ballot could be rejected.

Zelaya mentioned that voters should double-check to make sure they’ve added their signature using blue or black pen.

State and local boards of elections are urging voters look for their ballots in the mail within the next two weeks.

If you don’t get a ballot, or if something happens to the one you did receive, you can get another sent to you.

“Let’s say you spilled coffee on your ballot,” said Zelaya. “You could call our office and we’ll issue you a second ballot.”

Zelaya said many people worry about the security of their vote, or whether their ballot will make it back to their local board of elections.

Maryland voters can check on the status of their absentee or provisional ballot, or view information on their registration, at the board of elections’ website.

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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