(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Maryland delegation members, including Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05), Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-MD), and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), John P. Sarbanes (MD-03), Anthony G. Brown (MD-04), David Trone (MD-06), and Kweisi Mfume (MD-07) in writing to Governor Larry Hogan today to express their concern with his plan to proceed with in-person voting for the November 3 general election. The lawmakers called on Governor Hogan to rescind his directive and issue new guidance to maximize safety and voter participation. Under Governor Hogan’s announced plan, all in-person voting locations will be open and voters would have to request an absentee ballot through the Board of Elections to vote by mail. While they agree that limited polling locations should be available for Marylanders needing to vote in-person, the Delegation is concerned that there are not enough resources to sufficiently open and staff all polling locations.
“Maryland voters expect and deserve free, fair, and safe elections, and we are alarmed that your directive does not meet that basic standard,” write the lawmakers. “We call on you to rescind the directive and issue new guidance designed to maximize both safety and voter participation by mailing ballots for the general election to all registered voters, as was done in the primary.”
“This decision inherently introduces numerous new choke points that could lead to voters being disenfranchised,” continue the lawmakers. “We fully expect that mail-in ballots will again result in a larger number of voters in the November election and could set record levels of voter turnout. We would urge you to reverse that decision and have ballots mailed directly to voters, without the need to request them.”
“If the decision is made to proceed with this two-step process, we urge you to provide every necessary resource to educate the public, ensure citizens can easily obtain a ballot, and help county boards of election process applications in a timely manner,” said the lawmakers. “We also urge you to provide adequate resources to ensure that this decision can be carried out by our state and local election administrators.”
Click here to read the letter.