BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The new strain of coronavirus is impacting everything from schools to sporting events, and now it could impact Maryland’s primary election next month.

The State Board of Elections is discussing whether to allow people to cast their votes by mail.

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The board and other officials, including Gov. Larry Hogan and legislative leaders, are weighing their options.


“It is something we are concerned about and will be addressing in the coming days,” Hogan said at a news conference Thursday.

Local election boards are waiting for instructions.

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“All the election directors from around the state have come together to send a letter to the state board administrator asking and requesting that we do an all-mail-in ballot,” said Armstead Jones, the election director with the Baltimore City Board of Elections. “We think it is important for the safety not only of our election judges and those persons that are employees or the board and the voters that we be very cautious about the way we handle this election.”

In a statement posted on its website, the state elections board said:

“As the election approaches, SBE will continue coordinating with federal and state health officials and will institute any appropriate safeguards to minimize the risk for voters and election workers. Voters who prefer to vote from home can request an absentee ballot. Voters who wish to vote this way can submit a request online by visiting and clicking the “Request a Ballot” box or obtaining a request form from”

In Baltimore, officials said a significant number of polling judges are considered to be at a higher risk of catching the virus.

“We did some search on the age of our judges and I do believe at least 1,400 of them are 60 and above,” Jones said.

Early voting for Maryland’s upcoming election will be held between Thursday, April 16 and Thursday, April 23. Election day is April 28.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.