County Board of Elections Works on November Voting Plans

At its July 20 meeting, members of the Montgomery County Board of Elections discussed how best to hold the November election during a global pandemic. Currently, there is a shortage of both election judges and polling places, according to the BOE.

Earlier this month, Gov. Larry Hogan decided to hold an in-person election throughout Maryland.

Some of the proposals discussed included paying judges an additional $100 of hazard pay, as it did in the primary election, and striving to convince voters to vote by mail. The BOE intends to promote absentee voting prominently on its website.

It currently is seeking out high and middle schools and county facilities that could be used as polling places. There probably will be less than 100 chosen, said Margaret Jurgensen, election director.

The board expects to spend $110,000 for plexiglass shields, masks and other equipment to keep workers and voters safe.

Board members also agreed to write to the Maryland Board of Elections and Hogan to seek permission to begin canvasing the absentee ballots in early to mid-October in an effort to speed up the process. Normally, absentee ballots are not counted until the election is held.

In another matter, the BOE will not move the early voting center at the Executive Office Building in Rockville to the Bauer Community Recreation Center. The change was on the agenda for discussion but prior to the meeting, the board learned that the Executive Office would be available, Jurgensen said.

Maryland State Sen. Cheryl Kagan and Delegates Kumar Barve, Jim Gilchrist and Julie Palakovich-Carr had written to the BOE urging them to continue using the Executive Office Building.

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