Laws being introduced to continue mail-in voting in future elections
MARYLAND – It’s no secret that the recent election was controversial, but now Maryland lawmakers are considering ways to strengthen the mail-in voting system. On Tuesday, the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee held a public hearing on two bills that lawmakers say would strengthen the state’s mail-in voting process.
State republican Delegate, Wayne Hartman weighs in on the subject of mail-in voting and says, “I just think there are so many opportunities for people to vote in-person.” While democratic Delegate, Jheanelle Wilkins sponsored both of the bills and stands firm on creating a permanent mail-in voting system. “In 2020 more voters voted by mail then ever before and think that we’ll continue to see an upward trend of vote by mail because of it,” says Del. Wilkins.
Lawmakers say House Bill 1047 would make drop boxes a permanent staple in elections. While House bill 1048 would create a permanent mail-in ballot list so voters who want to vote at home in all elections can do so without having to apply separately for each mail ballot. Although lawmakers say this bill has potential, they still have a few concerns. “Although its a really great idea, the more touch points that you have the more visibility of the specific ballot, the higher the chance of reducing anonymity,” says republican Delegate, Kevin Hornberger.
They also say outside of elections during a pandemic, there are plenty of ways to vote. “I don’t know how there’s not an opportunity for somebody who wants to vote, to vote in person,” says Del. Hartman.
However, supporters say the bills would greatly benefit elderly and disabled voters. As well as encourage more people to vote by providing more options. “This bill is actually good for a election officials as well. Drop boxes are a secure way to collect ballots and decrease the cost of elections over time.”
Both for and against the idea of mail-in voting say, getting people to participate in elections is a top priority. However, whether or not mail-in voting should continue in future elections, is still an on-going debate.