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Baltimore polling locations need more election judges as early voting starts

Posted at 9:45 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 23:17:13-04

BALTIMORE — There will be many big races in this upcoming election.

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s race, the next governor in Maryland and choosing our next Senator will all be on the ballots.

Marylanders will be able to cast their ballots in person starting Thursday. Early voting is set to begin, with Election Day to be held on July 19.

Election guide

Still, Baltimore’s Board of Elections Director said the City is still short about 1,000 election judges.

MORE: City leaders urge residents to register to vote

Board of Elections struggling to sign up election judges

A big concern is that it could cause some polling locations to open late.

“I’m leery about the amount of judges we have at polling places,” said Baltimore Board of Elections Director Armstead Jones.

MORE: ‘We are in an emergency’: Baltimore short more than 1,000 election judges ahead of July primary

With early voting set to begin Thursday in Maryland, Jones told WMAR-2 they have about 1,200 election judges, which is not up to his expectation.

“Right now, we’re at 1200,” Jones said. “Doing the math, with consolidation of polling places, if we can get to 1700, I’ll feel good.

To add insult to injury, Jones said the City also hasn’t been able to hire substitute judges to make up for the shortage

He said the City would typically have around 150 substitute judges.

The problem could lead to polling places opening late, but Jones said the BOE is working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“If we can’t get it open, we will send someone from our office to get them up and running,” Jones said.

Those who want to vote early will be able cast their ballot at any early voting center between the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m starting Thursday before it ends on July 14.

If you would like to Vote by mail, you can drop it off at one of 34 drop boxes in the City.

The deadline to request one is July 12.

But if you are voting in person, Jones said there will still be precautions in place because of the pandemic.

“We want to make sure that folk feel safe and that they have a mask on when they come in to try and help protect everyone,” Jones said.

Baltimore City's Board of Elections says they are still dealing with a shortage of election judges. Click here if you would like to sign up.

According to the State Board of Elections, voters can return their mail-in ballots using an official ballot box in their county. A complete list of ballot box locations is available here.

Voters wishing to vote in person on Election Day, July 19, should confirm their polling place here.