Maryland Voters May Have to Wait 10 Days Post-primary for Election Results Due to Mail Ballot Rules

Just about one week ahead of Maryland’s primary election, voters are making their way to early voting stations and dropping off mail-in ballots across the state.

However, final election results may not be known for many days after polls close on the July 19 primary date, due to the veto of a bill that would have allowed election officials to begin processing mail-in ballots before Election Day.

During the last state-wide election, as the pandemic raged, Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan allowed local election boards to begin counting mail-in ballots more than a full month before Election Day.

This year, the state General Assembly passed a bill that would have allowed ballot processing and mail-in ballot counting to begin eight days before the beginning of the early voting period (which began on July 7th).

Hogan, however, vetoed the bill, citing what he said were a lack of “basic security measures,” including signature verification.

As a result of the veto, the first canvassing of the mail-in ballots will occur the Thursday following the election, and a final canvass will occur on July 29. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked July 19, so it could be a full 10 days before the results are tabulated and announced. Maryland will be the only state this year that is explicitly not allowing for the processing of mail-in ballots on or before Election Day.

As compared to 2018, the last election during which Maryland implemented the current set of ballot counting measures, more than 10 times as many mail-in ballots have been requested. Just under half-a-million ballots had been requested as of Saturday, according to Maryland Matters; about 30,000 mail ballots were requested in 2018.

Reporting from Just The News.