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Baltimore City Council Calls For All Voters To Receive Mail-In Ballots For 2020 General Election

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott is raising concerns over the upcoming election.

Wednesday, in a virtual meeting, the Legislative Investigations Committee held an oversight hearing on the Board of Elections to ensure their preparedness for the General Election on November 3.

Scott said, after the mistakes in the primary, he's concerned the city's not ready.

"We had some hiccups during that election," Scott said.

Earlier this month, Gov. Larry Hogan requested all eligible voters be mailed an application to request an absentee ballot, but Scott said every eligible voter should receive an absentee ballot in the mail.

In a letter to the governor, he said "forcing Marylanders to submit multiple mailings so that they can exercise their right to vote by mail will lead to unnecessary confusion and reduce voter participation."

Some people said they agree with Scott.

"I do think it could be confusing because we were sent ballots in June without having to ask, and now we get something that is a request for a ballot when you might think it is a ballot," said Baltimore resident Karen Ahlquist.

Scott said he's also concerned about in-person voting during a pandemic.

State Elections Administrator Linda Lamone said the Board of Elections is still working to find voting centers large enough to comply with social distancing.

"We're finding a lot of the private facilities are going to decline us using their facilities in November," Lamone said.

But whether it's in-person or by mail, voters said they just want to make sure it's done right.

"I think it shouldn't matter as long as it's sufficient," said Baltimore resident George Robinson.

Lamone said no concrete plans are in place just yet. She added the State Board of Elections still needs to figure out money, staffing and locations.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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