The Montgomery County Board of Elections wants to ensure that mail-in ballot submitted for the upcoming Maryland primary election count. If a voter makes a mistake, and returns their ballot in time, the staff of the Board of Elections will try to contact them to remedy the issue. The Board of Elections has some suggestions to make sure mail-in ballots will be counted for the primary election, which will be held on Tuesday, July 19.
It is not too late to request a mail-in ballot. To get one, text VBM to 77788 or visit 777vote.org. The request deadline to receive a mail-in ballot by mail is July 12.
The Board of Elections encourages voters to cast ballots as soon as possible. It also offers the following suggestions on steps that can be taken to help the mail-in voting process go smoothly:
- Open Vote-By-Mail ballot packets and read materials carefully. Read the contests on the ballot and the information and forms sent with it carefully. Section 203 of the 1975 Voting Rights Act requires that voting materials and ballots in Montgomery County are printed in English and Spanish.
- Vote the ballot. Use a black or blue ball point pen. Do not use a sharpie or marker. This may likely bleed through to the other side of the ballot.
- ID may be required. Most voters do not need to provide ID to vote. If you do, the Board of Elections will let you know. A small percentage of voters may need to verify their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number. Some voters may be required to submit a copy of proper identification such as a Maryland driver’s license, driver’s permit, MVA ID or official document including your name and address. You do not need to provide ID unless the words “ID REQUIRED” appear on your return envelope.
- If you need help, sign and return the enclosed certification of person assisting the voter. If you need help voting your ballot, the person helping you must mark the ballot according to your wishes and cannot try to influence your vote. You may not be assisted by your employer or an agent of your employer or union. There is a form that any person helping you must complete and return with your voted ballot. It is called the Certification of Person Assisting Voter.
- Use reply envelope provided to return ballot. Place voted ballot into Postage Paid return envelope, along with any forms that apply to you, such as a Certification of Person Assisting Voter. If you choose to receive your ballot electronically, you will need to use your own envelope and pay for postage.
- Sign, print name and date on “Voter Oath.” Sign and date the Voter’s Oath on the back of the return envelope or it will not be counted. To protect the health of election workers, the Board of Elections encourages voters to seal the envelope with a wet sponge or cloth. Voters can also use a piece of tape. It uses the slogan: “Whether healthy or sick, please don’t lick.”
- Return your ballot—no postage is necessary. The Board of Elections strongly encourages voters to fill out their ballot and mail it as soon as possible. Voters who wait to drop off their ballot until Primary Election Day, July 19, should use a Board of Elections drop box to prevent any delay in having the ballot postmarked.
Voters can find the nearest Board of Election ballot drop box by texting the word BOX, plus their Zip Code (Example: BOX 20879), to 77788 or by visiting 777vote.org.