Baltimore County To Count Mail-In Ballots Before Election Day
BALTIMORE COUNTY - Baltimore County election officials had initially planned to wait until November 10 to count mail-in ballots, but they have since reversed course.
Last month, the State of Maryland Board of Elections filed a lawsuit to challenge a state law requiring officials to wait until two days after election day to count ballots. Last Friday, the Maryland Supreme Court decided in favor of the board of elections, allowing officials to count votes as soon as October.
Rue Lavoie, Baltimore County Board of Elections Director, says the counting of mail-in ballots will start on November 5.
Maryland Gubernatorial Candidate, Dan Cox, expressed opposition to the change. Cox appealed the ruling allowing ballots to be counted before election day, and a Maryland appeals court rejected his appeal.
"The Board of Elections asking the courts to change the rules of election weeks prior to the election being held is unacceptable," Cox said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Wes Moore's campaign released this statement in response.
"Dan Cox is continuing his attempted assault on Maryland's free and fair election system by doubling down on this bogus lawsuit to delay the electoral process."
Mail-in ballots have increased dramatically in popularity in the elections since the pandemic. More than 345,000 Maryland voters voted by mail in the July 2022 primary. Due to the massive number of mail-in votes and the laws requiring officials to wait until two days after the election to start counting them, it took weeks for some counties to certify results.
October 18 is the last day to register to vote, and November 1 is the last day to request a ballot by mail.