Maryland, Ohio, is testing the rapid move to all-mail voting

Even so, elections are being closely monitored across the state to determine what to expect for the June 2 nationwide primary, which will also be held almost entirely by mail. The state sent ballots to all “active voters,” including voters who voted in one of the last three federal elections or who received the mail at the addresses given when they registered. The return postage on the voting slip has been paid.

Former MP Kweisi Mfume is making his comeback in Maryland’s deep blue 7th district. The special election on Tuesday to fill the seat of the late MP Elijah E. Cummings will be held almost exclusively by post due to the corona virus. (Photo by Tom Williams / CQ Appeal App)

Tens of thousands of ballot papers had been counted by the end of last week. Since no more than 10 polling officers were allowed in the same room, the process was broadcast live over the Internet to recruiters working from home. A few times the broadcast was interrupted due to technical problems and all counts had to be stopped until service could be restored, said Bruce Robinson, president of the Baltimore County Board of Elections.

Robinson said the largest test of the system will take place on election day, the deadline by which ballots are stamped or placed in one of three collection boxes specially made by the state.

The boxes are designed to make it easier for people to cast their ballots without exposing themselves to the virus. However, limiting the number of people who can safely wait in queues can quickly overwhelm polling stations.

“The biggest fear is that someone will get infected because of the vote,” said Robinson. “Votes are really important, but in 2020 we would not see them as ‘I should be ready to die to vote’.”

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