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Hogan scolds Elections Board, demands answers on absentee ballots within 48 hrs.

Posted at 7:43 AM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 08:29:24-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Governor Larry Hogan on Monday sent a letter to the State Board of Elections, giving them just 48 hours to provide a full status report on preparations for the November 3 general election.

Over three weeks ago, Hogan directed the state board to mail absentee ballot request applications to every eligible Maryland voter.

In his letter Hogan indicates the applications were never sent out, and demands to know why.

“I am now giving SBE 48 hours to report to me, the Board of Public Works, the Secretary of State, the presiding officers of the Maryland General Assembly, and the public explaining why those applications have not been mailed to Marylanders,” Hogan wrote.

The Governor previously ordered the board to open early voting centers and to make sure all polling locations would be open on Election Day.

"We expect you to provide your plan for how to conduct the election under existing law, including the minimum number of polling places that you will be able to open in each county,” wrote Hogan in his August 3 letter.

He went on to raise concerns about potential polling closures, and the affect it would have in minority communities, which Hogan says would be in violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

RELATED: Gov. Hogan directs Board of Elections to have in person voting for general election, offer other options

In his initial letter on July 10, Hogan urged the board to avoid making the election partisan and cautioned of political influence.

“While I know you have been inundated with suggestions from political leaders in both parties and special interest groups to change the electoral process, this discussion should not be subject to undue partisanship or political influence,” Hogan wrote at the time. “Providing citizens with accessible, accountable, and transparent ways to cast their ballot is an essential component of our democratic republic and your primary responsibility.”

Nearly two weeks after Hogan issued the directive, Head Administrator, Linda Lamone requested an additional $20 million for the election.

Lamone herself has been under intense scrutiny for her handling of the June primary election, leading Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford to call for her resignation.

READ MORE: Calls for new leadership as primary election vote counting continues

In an attempt to get more polling locations open, Hogan's administration has begun recruiting state employees and college students to serve as election judges.

You can apply to be one here.

Read Hogan's full letter below.

SBE-Letter-8.3.20-1 by Wmar Web on Scribd