By Kristen Harbeson, Political Director of Maryland LCV
The June Primary has come and gone but the 2020 Election has barely hit its stride. Even as we are facing the rise and fall and rise again of COVID-19 infections, Marylanders are preparing to go to the polls in November.
To pass strong environmental legislation, we must have the right elected officials in office. Nothing is more important to that goal than a robust election where voters’—all voters’— voices are heard and champions are elected that reflect their conservation values over the interests of those who would pave over forests and eliminate environmental protections.
To advocate for a fair, free, and safe election, Maryland League of Conservation Voters is part of a large and diverse coalition called “Everyone Votes Maryland.” We hope you will engage in our campaign — including spreading the word — to ensure its success.
Looking forward through this public health crisis to a critical national election, it is essential that every registered voter make a plan on how they will have their vote heard.
Check your registration
All registered Maryland voters will be sent mail-in ballot applications in advance of the November 3rd election. Since ballot and ballot applications will not be forwarded, it’s important that everyone make sure that their registration is up to date.
- Are you registered to vote in Maryland?
- Have you moved since the last election?
Check your status here: https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch
Apply for an absentee ballot:
You don’t have to wait for your absentee ballot application to arrive in the mail.
Voting by mail is the best and safest way to make your voice heard. Not only is it secure, but it provides a guaranteed paper record of every vote in the case of a recount. In addition, it allows voters time to sit with their ballots and do research, which is especially important for voters with lower literacy levels, or whose first language is not English.
- To receive a ballot in the mail, you must request a ballot by no later than Tuesday, October 27.
- Ballots can also be e-mailed if they are requested on or before Thursday, October 30.
- You will need to know:
- Your voter type (citizenship, military affiliation, etc.)
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- Your State ID number and issue date. This could be a drivers license or MVA-issued ID.
- Note that if you don’t already have one, the website will send you to a Maryland Voter Registration Application, which will require an original signature and can not be e-mailed or faxed.
- Your address
- Your political party (if any)
- A contact phone number and e-mail address
You will be asked how you would like to receive your ballot, and be required to swear or affirm that your information is correct: That you are a US Citizen, a Maryland resident, at least 16 years old, and you do not have a current conviction that prevents you from being eligible to vote.
- Note: previously convicted felons who have been released on parole or who have completed their time served are eligible to vote by Maryland state law.
Voting by Mail
Once you receive your ballot, you will be able to review the candidates for office and cast your vote safely and securely.
- Your ballot must be postmarked on or before November 3, 2020
- For ballots sent by mail, postage will be pre-paid. No additional postage will be required.
- For ballots received by e-mail, voters will be required to print and mail their ballots with the appropriate postage (2 stamps)
- Ballots should be signed and filled out with a black pen
- Ballots MUST be signed to be considered valid.
Voting in Person
Some people prefer to vote in person, or have disabilities which make it essential to have in-person voting options. Not to worry! There will be opportunities for you to visit a voting center.
- Each jurisdiction will have voting centers open for early voting from October 22 – October 29th.
- In-person voting options will also be available on November 3rd.
- Voting centers will require voters to wear a mask in order to enter the facility, and social-distancing will be maintained.
- Ballot marking devices will be available for voters with disabilities
- Same-day registration will be available during early voting and on election day
- Voters registering on-site may be required to fill out provisional ballots.
- Absentee ballots will begin being mailed out on September 19th
- Last day to pre-register to vote is October 13th– you will still be able to register in person on election day at your polling location
- Early Voting for the General Election – Thursday, October 22, 2020 through Thursday, October 29, 2020 from 8 am until 8 pm.
- Last day to request an absentee ballot is October 29th
- November 3 General Election – Your absentee ballot must be postmarked by this day
We need to stay vigilant and focused on ensuring every Marylander has the necessary tools and resources to vote. Stay tuned to see updates from us and our partners in Everyone Votes Maryland about the November elections. With so much at stake, we need all Marylanders to exercise their right to vote. It is one of the best actions you can take to protect and restore Maryland’s land, air, water and communities.
Thank you to everyone who was able to join us Wednesday night for the Everyone Votes Maryland- The State of Voting webinar. We had a great turnout and went through the ins and outs of voting for the primary and general election.
As Maryland continues to grapple with challenges of the COVID-19 virus, a number of emergency measures have been put in place to protect public health and every Marylander’s right to vote in the upcoming June 2, 2020 Primary Election. This webinar was hosted on May 13, 2020 by the Everyone Votes Maryland coalition.
Here’s the recorded webinar:
Topics discussed include changes made to the upcoming election, the impact these changes have on different groups of voters, and how to ensure you are able to exercise your right to vote.
- Kristen Harbeson, MD League of Conservation Voters
- Nicole Hanson-Mundell, Out for Justice
- Ben Jackson, Disability Rights MD
- Joanne Antoine, Common Cause MD
- Ralph Watkins, League of Women Voters MD
- Qiana Johnson, Life After Release
- Rev. Kobi Little, NAACP
- Baltimore Sergio España, ACLU MD
- Cristi Demowicz, Represent MD
- Emily Scarr, Maryland PIRG
- Yaheiry Mora, CASA
- Tasmin Swanson, Baltimore Votes
- Jay Hutchins, Planned Parenthood of MD
Attendees were provided with opportunity to ask questions at the end of the webinar.
We’re partnering with LCV national and re:power to train people to run in down-ballot races across the United States. Are you up for the challenge?
2020 could be the year you run for office — and we want to help.
For the first time in its history, LCV is holding a non-partisan Candidate Academy to teach the ins and outs of running for office.
This exclusive program, in partnership with re:power, will give diverse environmental leaders who are passionate about their communities the tools they need to run — and win.
We all succeed when individuals who are passionate about the environment and addressing climate change take the leap and run for office. If that sounds like you, then we want you to apply today!
The deadline to apply is January 10, 2020. The training will take place in February and March in Seattle. Space is extremely limited, so apply today! If you are selected, we will be in touch with you soon on next steps.
For questions, contact Shanthi Gonzales at LCV (firstname.lastname@example.org)