Wicomico voters encouraged to mail in primary ballots

Wicomico County voters will soon begin receiving ballots for the June 2 primary election in their mailboxes.

County Elections Director Anthony Gutierrez told County Council members this week that officials are hoping to conduct the primary mostly by mail, but voters who need assistance are welcome to vote at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in person on Tuesday, June 2.

The primary was originally scheduled to occur April 28, but Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order moving the ballot date to June, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

State elections officials ultimately decided to implement a vote-by-mail election.

Gutierrez said the mail-in ballots don’t require stamps, and can be mailed for free through the U.S. Postal Service. He said two drop-off locations will also be available, with security bins placed at both the Civic Center and the county Board of Elections Office on Snow Hill Road in Salisbury.

In-person voting will still be available at the Civic Center, but Gutierrez said the goal is keep turnout as low as possible to ensure public safety. He said disabled people or those who need help from election aides should mostly comprise the in-person voters.

“Safety is our paramount concern for voters and poll workers,” he said. “We are hopeful that everyone will use the mail-in envelopes or drop boxes.”

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by June 2. For voters who prefer to drop off their ballots at either the Civic Center or Elections Office, they can do that between May 21 and June 2.

The primary is limited to registered Democrats and Republicans. Voters will be choosing from among the candidates in the race for the White House, the 1st District House of Representatives race and delegates to the party conventions.

In Wicomico’s County Council District 2, two unopposed candidates will be listed.

On Tuesday night, County Council President Larry Dodd asked Gutierrez about the possibility of voter fraud occurring.

Gutierrez pointed out that each ballot features a voter affirmation on the back of the envelope, which must be signed.

“The current law is that the oath is confirmed with a signature,” he said. “You are signing that under penalty of perjury that you’re not committing fraud.

Gutierrez said that if you are a registered voter and do not receive a ballot, contact the Elections Office and a second ballot will be issued. The phone number 410-548-4830.

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