Pandemic Pandemonium in Maryland

It’s hard to believe that in Maryland we are heading into our 3rd election during the pandemic (1. The election to fill the late Congressman Cummings’s seat; 2. The Presidential Primary and now the General Election).  

In each of the previous 2 pandemic elections, voters were mailed absentee ballots without having to apply. There was limited in-person voting for those who could not vote by mail, didn’t get their ballot, or had other reasons for voting in person. Sure, there were glitches, mistakes were made, and complaints were lodged. I get why people were upset. In my family, my daughter never received her ballot, so she had to vote in person at the only polling place in Howard County (way out at the fairgrounds). But by all accounts, procedures were followed, masks were worn, distance was kept, and she voted.

So here we are, 90 some days away from the Presidential Election. The virus is still with us. Our numbers in MD are going up again… and what does Governor Larry Hogan do?s

He calls for a “normal election”.

A NORMAL ELECTION.

I tell you what. I was blind-sided by this one. Governor Hogan had been so reasonable about the other 2 pandemic elections, I guess I just assumed he’d call for the same process as before and implement it with lessons learned.

But instead, he’s starting from scratch with a new plan. This is what he wants to have happen:

  1. All registered voters will receive an absentee ballot application in the mail. If they fill it out, mail it back, they will then receive an absentee ballot in the mail. Why not just skip a step and mail ballots like we did in the other pandemic elections?
  1. All polling places are to be open. Why encourage people to vote in person? Where are the poll workers going to come from? How can each precinct come up with a polling location?

This is what should happen:

  1. Mail registered voters their ballots; have limited in-person polling locations; and start making the plans NOW so that things will run more smoothly this time. 

Here’s how you can make it happen:

  • Call Governor Larry Hogan at 410-974-3901 or 1-800-811-8336
    MD Relay 1-800-735-2258
  • Ask him to modify his order to allow registered voters to receive an absentee ballot in the mail instead of requiring the cumbersome and expensive 2 step process.

Let’s give the Governor a little nudge. Maybe he’ll listen.

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