Make Sure Your Voice is Heard in Tomorrow’s Primary Elections
Primary election day is tomorrow, June 2nd — and the hype around this election is notably different from elections past. Because of COVID-19, we are all looking at the process of voting a little differently.
But there are plenty of options for voters who want to make their voices heard in the Primary Election. There are also plenty of reasons why voting in this election is just as important as voting in all other elections. The fact is: once life “returns back to normal,” we will have to live with the decisions that were made during this election season. If you still care about a certain issue, policy, candidate, or our democracy as much now as you did before COVID-19, you should take the time to make your voice heard in this election.
Even during this pandemic, your right to vote is still being protected. Along with other voting rights organizations, we have worked to make sure that voting is still accessible during this pandemic. You have the ability to participate in our democracy, if you want it.
The primary election is mostly Vote by Mail. Ballots were sent to active voters at their home addresses, along with a prepaid return envelope. Voters are encouraged to fill out their ballots and return them as soon as possible. Be sure to sign and date the “Oath of Absentee Voter” on the outside of the envelope. To ensure their ballot is counted/not rejected, voters should drop their ballots off at one of the designated drop off boxes in their county. Look up dropbox locations here.
If you do not have your ballot by now, DON’T PANIC! You can also vote in-person at one of the voting centers designated by the local board of elections in each county. Look up the voting center here. These vote centers will be practicing health and safety measures. If you are not able to vote in person, you are an active registered voter, and you have a printer, you can contact your local board and request that a ballot be sent to you electronically.
Also, don’t forget that Maryland is a Same-Day registration state. If you are not registered to vote, you can still register on election day at an in-person voting center.
On election day, if you choose to vote in person and for some reason there is an issue with your registration, you can vote provisionally. You can vote provisionally if your name doesn’t appear on the poll list or you don’t have identification. It is important that on this election season you know your rights
If you have questions or problems voting, we are here as a resource! For example, if you are experiencing long lines on election day, stay in line and reach out to the Election Protection team. Just call the nonpartisan Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR- VOTE (866-687-8683) and trained volunteers will be able to help you. Alternatively, there is also the spanish language line (888-VE-Y-VOTA), the arabic language line (844-YALLA-US), and the asian languages lines (888-API-VOTE). Common Cause Maryland will be working with the Lawyers’ Committee — along with over a hundred awesome volunteers — to monitor voting centers and drop off boxes on election day.
Remember that every ballot counts! And our election processes are secure and reliable. Maryland has a variety of systems to ensure that each voter only votes once. There is an online tracking system that voters can use to ensure their ballot was received and counted. Use the tracking system here. There will be post-election ballot audits to ensure that the ballot counts were accurate and the election results are valid.
Common Cause Maryland and Everyone Votes Maryland coalition partners have worked to make sure that voting is still accessible during this pandemic. Voting is the cornerstone of our form of government,and the way we have our voices heard.
If you haven’t voted already, please look for your ballot and vote. If you can’t find your ballot, contact your local board of elections and ask to receive it electronically — and vote.
These may not be “normal” times, but we can still vote.