Why Maryland primary elections results will be delayed
- Officials described Maryland's elections as "the most taxing"
- Multiple counties have low recruitment rates of volunteers
- COVID-19 has made a dent in Maryland's election process
Maryland is all set to re-energise the election season in America on July 19, 2022. But the upcoming polls will be a difficult task for authorities to manage. With a change in voting patterns, staff shortages and COVID adaptation measures, Maryland is likely to have a delayed result announcement in the primary elections on Tuesday.
Howard County Board of Elections director described the upcoming primaries as "the most taxing election" for state workers. The director, Guy Mickley, added that the election preparations were "90 days of hell."
According to reports from Washington Post, voters could face lines in some places and see delays in ballot processing as election boards race to staff a full complement of about 1,500 polling sites across the state.
Officials added that Maryland was also understaffed to carry out smooth and timely elections. Prince George's County officials reported a 1,000-person deficit in their usual recruitment patterns. Frederick County was also down 100 poll workers while Howard County was forced to draw from its reserve list.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also left a deep impact on Maryland's voting patterns. The number of people casting their votes using a mail-in ballot has increased multifold. Elections officials adapted, repurposing classrooms to accommodate ballot sorting equipment in Gaithersburg and rethinking how to collect ballots from drop boxes in Frederick County, according to reports from Washington Post.
The process of conducting elections in the United States can vary with state and cycle by cycle too. Officials can tweak procedures to facilitate smooth polling. Some Maryland election officials pitched the idea of reinstating pandemic-era processes to adapt to changing voting patterns.
Maryland's primary elections this year have a lot at stake. The long list includes US House of Representatives seats, one Senate seat, the governor's office, the attorney general's office among many others.