By Abby Zimmardi
ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland State Board of Elections can begin counting early mail-in ballots Saturday following the Court of Special Appeals’ decision to deny Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox’s effort to halt the process.
The board of elections asked the Montgomery County Circuit Court in August for permission to change its counting process of mail-in ballots, because, it said, it anticipated a much larger number of ballots.
The increased volume could delay the certification of the election until late December or early January 2023, the board said. Normally, mail-in votes are counted Thursday after election day.
So far, more than 530,000 people have requested mail-in ballots for the Nov. 8 election, according to the board of elections mail-in ballot request count report.
The number of requested mail-in ballots has exceeded the unprecedented half a million mail-in ballots in the July primary election.
The board’s initial petition was challenged by Cox, but the court approved the board’s petition last week. Following Judge James Bonifant’s ruling, Cox filed an appeal that stated the ruling was unconstitutional because the decision to change the election process should not be left to the judiciary.
The Court of Special Appeals denied Cox’s request to immediately halt the early mail-in vote count. Judicial action on Cox’s overall appeal is pending.
For more information about the Maryland general election, check out the CNS 2022 General Election Guide.