WASHINGTON — Voters navigated a curfew, protests, health concern amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a sharp increase in mail balloting, as elections took place in D.C. and Maryland on Tuesday.
Maryland returns are very slow coming in. Some counties have not reported mail-in or in person. Some counties just mail-in, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections. Also, counties are still seeing people in lines, and they will not release result for those counties until everyone in lines has voted. These jurisdictions include people still voting in Montgomery County and Prince Geroge's County.
No returns have been seen in D.C. yet. This is because there are still people in lines that want to vote. Long lines have been seen throughout the day at District voting stations.
"275 voters in a line wrapped around my polling place. My mail-in ballot never arrived despite making a city-imposed deadline. An extremely high number of requests this year but a huge failure by DC Board of Elections to process them in time," . Her and many other voters waited for hours to get inside a Southeast voting center.
It is not known at this time if the George Floyd protests created higher turnout or caused delays for voting stations. Or, if social distancing measures put in place were the main reason for delays.
"District of Columbia Board of Elections (DCBOE) will not be releasing Primary Election results until all voters at every Vote Center have cast their ballots," said DCBOE is a social media statement.
D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a 7 p.m. curfew that will run through Tuesday evening, though voting places will be open until 8 p.m. Voting has been deemed essential, and city officials say voters will not be subject to arrest if they cast ballots during the curfew.
Along with primary voting, voters also cast ballots for U.S. congressional seats, D.C. council seats, Maryland board of education seats, Maryland city mayors, Maryland city council members, Maryland judges and more.
Joe Biden could seize the number of delegates needed to formally clinch the Democrats' presidential nomination on Tuesday as seven states and the District of Columbia push through a pandemic and exploding racial tensions to host the largest slate of primary elections in almost three months.
Both D.C. and Maryland pushed for residents to move toward using mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are in unique times and voting is a unique challenge for people,” said Josh Schwerin, chief strategist for the pro-Democrat super PAC Priorities USA. He said that his organization and others will be watching closely on Tuesday “to see how well it works, where issues are, and where obstacles have been put in place.”
Maryland officials reportedly had three-and-a-half million ballots mailed in an effort to limit in-person voting to protect against crowded polls and the spread of coronavirus.