ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday gave the State Board of Elections two days to put forth its plans for how it will administer the general election in November amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a two-page letter to elections board administrator Linda Lamone, Hogan demanded an explanation as to why absentee ballot applications have not been mailed to all eligible voters as the governor proposed under his election plan last month. That plan also calls for all polling places to be open on Election Day.
“With Election Day fast approaching, I am very concerned that the State Board of Elections (SBE) appears to be on a path to repeating the massive failures of the June 2 primary election,” Hogan wrote.
Hogan also called on the elections board to detail how many polling places will be open in each county, writing that consolidating most of a county’s polling places could lead to voter disenfranchisement.
- Hogan Directs Maryland Elections Board To Open All Polling Places For 2020 General Election, Send All Voters Absentee Ballot Applications
- Baltimore Mayor, County Executives Ask Gov. Hogan To Reconsider Largely In-Person Election
- Maryland AG Brian Frosh Criticizes Gov. Hogan’s Plans For In-Person Election
- Advocates Urge Gov. Hogan To Adjust Plan For In-Person Polling Centers Ahead Of General Election
In the letter, Hogan said Prince George’s County officials told him they wanted to open just 15 precincts for in-person voting while closing 229 others, which he said could provoke a civil rights violation being filed with the U.S. Department of Justice.
The governor also blasted what he called the elections board’s “deflection” of responsibility following a number of issues reported during the June primary, which was delayed from April due to the coronavirus.
“More than two months have passed, and you still have not provided a plan for how you are going to conduct an election,” Hogan wrote. “This is your sole responsibility and your only job. Instead, we have seen two months of delay and deflection about why polls can’t be opened, and why applications for ballots can’t be mailed.”
Despite Hogan calling for polling places to remain open for the election, a number of groups and elected officials, including the ACLU and Attorney General Brian Frosh, have called on the governor to reconsider.
Last month, Frosh warned of “devastating consequences” if the state doesn’t mail all voters ballots for the election instead of absentee ballot applications like Hogan proposed.