image description

Election officials set timetable for vote counting

October 8th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland State Board of Elections on Thursday laid out the ballot counting schedule ahead of Election Day. WBAL reports that though ballots being returned have been counted since Oct. 1., results of mail-in ballots and early voting will be embargoed until after vote centers close at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. In the hours that follow, results from in-person Election Day voting will be released.

Officials stressed that because many voters this year are voting by mail-in ballot, a complete count of voters will not be available on the night of the election. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 3, though properly submitted ballots will be accepted until Nov. 13. Voters should remember that the date an item is postmarked is not necessarily the date it is sent.

Updated results will be released each day that ballots are counted. Not all counties may count ballots every day. Provisional ballots will be counted starting the second Thursday after the election. Those results will be announced when they are counted. Voters who requested a mail-in ballot but decide to vote in person instead will be asked to cast a provisional ballot.

The Maryland State Board of Elections began sending out ballots in late September to voters who requested them. Ballots will continue to be sent as requests are received and processed. Those requests must be received by Oct. 20.

As of Thursday, 1.4 million Maryland voters had requested a mail-in ballot. Election officials have sent out 1.17 million ballots. Local election boards have received 123,754 ballots from voters.

Drop boxes remain an alternative to mail. Boxes are available at local election offices, early voting locations and other locations. More boxes will be made available in the coming weeks. Drop boxes will remain open until 8 p.m. Nov. 3. Ballots are collected from them twice per day.