• Maryland: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has approved a plan to conduct Maryland's June 2 presidential and downballot primaries by mail, with a limited number of in-person voting centers available for those unable to cast mail ballots. Officials will send every active registered voter an absentee ballot with a postage-paid return envelope.
• Maryland: Maryland's Board of Elections reversed itself on Thursday and recommended to Gov. Larry Hogan that each of the state's 24 counties provide at least one in-person voting location for the June 2 presidential and downballot primaries. Hogan must now decide whether to approve the board's recommendations. An earlier version of the board's plan to mail ballots to all voters would have eliminated in-person polling sites altogether, which would have risked disenfranchising many groups of voters, including those:
with certain disabilities, particularly the visually impaired;
with language barriers;
who should have received a ballot but do not;
who are displaced due to the pandemic;
who currently can't obtain a state ID necessary to register to vote because the DMV is closed; and
who are simply difficult to reach by mail.
Of that last group, known as "inactive" voters because mail sent to them is undeliverable, the board's counsel says that up to 4% wind up participating in a typical election. The ACLU and advocates for the blind had expressed serious concerns about the board's plans, which likely spurred them to reverse course.
Maryland: Maryland's Board of Elections is recommending to GOP Gov. Larry Hogan that the state's June 2 presidential and downballot primaries be conducted entirely by mail, with all voters receiving a mail-in ballot and in-person voting completely eliminated. That last provision could result in a lawsuit, because federal law requires states to make voting accessible for people with disabilities, and not all voters are able to cast ballots by mail.
In fact, in the board's discussion of the April 28 special election in Maryland's 7th Congressional District, which will be conducted by mail, one board official even noted that state law requires election administrators to offer in-person voting to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, according to the board's website, there will be no in-person voting for the special election.
Maryland: Democrats have introduced a bill to require the state to inform citizens with a felony conviction of their voting rights when they are released from prison and give them a registration form. Maryland currently disenfranchises voters with felony convictions while they are incarcerated, but those citizens automatically regain their voting rights upon release (except for people convicted of buying or selling votes, who remain permanently disenfranchised). However, some of these citizens may not be aware of their voting eligibility status, which this bill aims to fix.
State Senate Democrats passed a similar bill last year, but House Democrats failed to approve it.