TGR: Our elected officials are only as good as we make them :: MD VOTER’S GUIDE

By Doni Glover, Publisher
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(BALTIMORE – June 22, 2022) – Having covered Maryland politics since I first began a career as a journalist in 1994, I have seen a lot of political dynamos, powerhouses, and dynasties come – and I’ve seen them go. Through it all, I have also seen the maturation of Black political power here in a now “purple” state – to use Catalina Byrd’s description.

Today, in 2022, African Americans have made unprecedented strides politically. Blacks in Annapolis are pushing the envelope like never before. It is so refreshing to see this evolution – to see Blacks in Prince George’s County working cooperatively with Blacks from Baltimore City and Baltimore County on a viable agenda to address the key issues in our community. It’s a very beautiful thing.

The state Senators and Delegates from these two jurisdictions represent two all-important jurisdictions that are both majority Black. Their input on the 2,500 or so bills that go before the Maryland General Assembly every year during the 90-day session is critical. Thus, these Black Senators and Delegates – in order to effectively represent us – need our input, support, and insight.

We must engage them. We must write checks for their campaigns and/or volunteer on their campaigns. And we must bring important issues to their attention. Further, we must hold them accountable. No, I’m not talking about being a nuisance. No! We must be educated about the political process beforehand so that we when do speak with them, it makes sense.

Our elected officials are only as good as we make them. If they do not know about something, we should inform them. If they have done something we do not understand or like, we should ask them about it so as to improve our clarity. But we should also have our facts together first. The idea is to help a situation, not make it worse.

We are deep in the final rounds of the Primary Election season in Maryland. It all goes down in 2 weeks. Who we vote for will be the next cadre of leaders for the next 4 to 8 years. So, it is important that we do our research, learn about the candidates, and find out what they stand for so as to make the best decision for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our state.

Be informed! Educated yourself! Ask questions! Get involved! It is your state, too!

According to the Maryland Board of Elections, 2022 Gubernatorial Elections – Voter Resources:

Register to vote or verify that your voter registration information is current and make any updates by June 28, 2022.

To vote by mail, you must request a mail-in ballot from the State Board of Elections or your local board. Your request for a mail-in ballot for the Gubernatorial Primary Election must be received by July 12, 2022; and by November 1, 2022, for the Gubernatorial General Election.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked or placed in a designated ballot drop box (en español) by 8 pm on July 19, 2022, for the Gubernatorial Primary Election and by 8 pm on November 8, 2022, for the Gubernatorial General Election.

To vote in person, Marylanders can vote during early voting or on election day:

  • Early voting will be held for 8 days and begin on Thursday, July 7, 2022, through Thursday, July 14, 2022, from 7 am until 8 pm for the Gubernatorial Primary Election; and begins on Thursday, October 27, 2022, through Thursday, November 3, 2022, from 7 am until 8 pm for the Gubernatorial General Election. You can vote early at any early voting center in the county you live in. A list of early voting centers for the Gubernatorial Primary Election is listed here (en español).
  • The Gubernatorial Primary Election Day is July 19, 2022; and the Gubernatorial General Election Day is November 8, 2022. To vote in person on election days, vote at your assigned polling place.

Below you will find information on:

  • Register to Vote Register to Vote (deadlines are June 28, 2022, for the Gubernatorial Primary Election; and October 18, 2022, for the Gubernatorial General Election)
  • Request a Mail-in Ballot (must be received by July 12, 2022, for the Gubernatorial Primary Election; and by November 1, 2022, for the Gubernatorial General Election)
  • Vote by Mail (Mail-in Ballot)
  • Vote on Election Day (Gubernatorial Primary Election day is July 19, 2022; and Gubernatorial General Election Day is November 8, 2022.)
  • Accessible Voting

 

Register to Vote

To vote in the 2022 Election, you must be registered to vote. To learn more about who can register to vote, click here.

The deadline to register to vote or update your voter registration information is June 28, 2022, for the Gubernatorial Primary Election; and October 18, 2022, for the Gubernatorial General Election. To register to vote or to check your registration status, click here. Your voter registration must be up to date with your current address. To update your voter registration, click here.

You may also register to vote or update your voter registration information in person during early voting or on election day. If you update your address on election day, you will be asked to complete a provisional ballot. An election judge will assist you with this process.

Request a Mail-In Ballot

The deadline for us to receive your request for a ballot using our online system or by mail is July 12, 2022, for the Gubernatorial Primary Election; and by November 1, 2022, for the Gubernatorial General Election. If this deadline has passed and you would like to vote a mail-in ballot, please go to your local board of elections. You can pick up your ballot there and either vote and return it then or take your ballot with you and return it by mail or at a ballot drop box.

Once your application is submitted, you can check the status of your application here.

Vote by Mail (Mail-in Ballot)

Maryland voters who have requested a mail-in ballot for the Gubernatorial Primary Election can expect to receive their ballot beginning at the end of May and voters who request a mail-in ballot for the Gubernatorial General Election can expect to receive their ballot beginning at the end of September.

If you chose to receive your ballot by email, you will receive an email with a link that will allow you to print and mail your ballot.

If you chose to receive your mail-in ballot by U.S. Mail, simply follow the instructions with your ballot and return it in the postage-paid return envelope that accompanies your ballot.

Your mail-in ballot must be mailed or dropped in a ballot drop box location by 8 pm on Election Day, July 19 for the Gubernatorial Primary Election or November 8 for the Gubernatorial General Election. If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked on or before each election day to be counted.

Important Note: A recent change in the law requires the State Board of Elections and each local board of elections to refer to absentee ballots as “mail-in ballots” and absentee voting as “mail-in voting.” Please note that this change in terminology does NOT change the process of mail-in voting.

Completing your Ballot

When filling out your ballot, remember to:

  • Use Black Ink to Mark your Ballot
  • Sign the Return Envelope. Do Not Sign the Ballot.
  • Seal your Return Envelope
  • Send your Ballot using the Postage-Paid Return Envelope

 

 

Returning your Ballot

First Class Mail – U.S. Post Office

We are urging all Marylanders to return their ballots as soon as possible due to potential delays with the U.S. Postal Service. Your ballot comes with a postage-paid return envelope, so submitting your ballot by mail is free. Your ballot must be postmarked on or before July 19 for the Gubernatorial Primary Election or November 8 for the Gubernatorial General Election. Putting your ballot in a mailbox on election day does not mean it is postmarked that day.

Ballot Drop Boxes

Marylanders can use a ballot drop box to return their mail-in ballot. A list of ballot drop boxes for the 2022 Primary Election is available here (en español). Ballot drop boxes will be open until 8 pm on July 19 for the Gubernatorial Primary Election and until 8pm on November 8 for the Gubernatorial General Election.

Voting In-Person

Vote on Election Day

Due to a recent change in the law, we now mail every voter an application for a mail-in ballot. If you prefer to vote in person, early voting centers will be open from Thursday, July 7, 2022, through Thursday, July 14, 2022, from 7 am until 8 pm for the Gubernatorial Primary Election, and election day polling places will be open from 7 am until 8 pm on July 19, 2022, for election day. For the Gubernatorial General Election, early voting centers will be open from Thursday, October 27, 2022, through Thursday, November 3, 2022, from 7 am until 8 pm, and election day polling places will be open from 7 am until 8 pm on November 8, 2022, for election day. You may vote early at any early voting center in your jurisdiction of residence or at your assigned polling place on election day.

To make in-person voting safe, we will keep voters six feet apart and limit the number of people inside vote centers at one time. This may result in lines and wait times. The best time to vote in person is on weekends during early voting and between 10 am and 3 pm on election day.

Accessible Voting

Maryland is committed to making voting accessible to all voters. All of the early voting centers in Maryland are accessible to voters with disabilities. To learn more about voting by mail or voting in person, click here.