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§ 9-311.1. Permanent absentee ballot status

West's Annotated Code of MarylandElection LawEffective: June 1, 2021

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Election Law (Refs & Annos)
Title 9. Voting (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle 3. Absentee Voting (Refs & Annos)
Effective: June 1, 2021
MD Code, Election Law, § 9-311.1
§ 9-311.1. Permanent absentee ballot status
Eligibility for permanent absentee ballot status
(a) All voters are eligible for permanent absentee ballot status.
Ways to request permanent absentee ballot status
(b) To request permanent absentee ballot status a voter shall complete and submit:
(1) the State Board-approved absentee ballot application and indicate on the form that the voter wishes to have permanent absentee ballot status;
(2) a written request that includes the voter's name, residence address, and signature; or
(3) the online absentee ballot application provided by the State Board and indicate on the form that the voter wishes to have permanent absentee ballot status.
Timing for request
(c)(1) A voter may apply for permanent absentee ballot status at any time.
(2) A voter who requests permanent absentee ballot status may not receive an absentee ballot for the next election if the request is made after the applicable deadline specified in § 9-305(c) of this subtitle.
Methods to receive ballot and communication from State Board
(d) A voter shall specify in an absentee ballot application submitted in accordance with subsection (b) of this section:
(1) one of the following methods by which the voter chooses to receive an absentee ballot:
(i) mail;
(ii) facsimile transmission; or
(iii) the Internet; and
(2) one of the following methods by which the voter chooses to be contacted by the State Board under subsection (g) of this section before each election:
(i) nonforwardable mail;
(ii) e-mail; or
(iii) text message.
Information required from voters
(e) A voter who uses the online absentee ballot application to request permanent absentee ballot status or who uses any method to request to receive a blank absentee ballot through the Internet shall provide the information required under § 9-305(b) of this subtitle.
Placement on permanent absentee ballot list
(f) A voter who submits a proper request for permanent absentee ballot status shall be placed on the permanent absentee ballot list.
Communication sent to voters on list before election; contents
(g)(1) Not less than 75 days before the day on which a local board begins to send absentee ballots to voters, the State Board shall send a written communication to each voter who is on the permanent absentee ballot list as of a date that is at least 90 days before the upcoming election using the method chosen by the voter under subsection (d)(1) of this section.
(2) The communication required under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall include:
(i) confirmation that the voter is included on the permanent absentee ballot list;
(ii) the address of the voter;
(iii) the method by which the voter has chosen to receive an absentee ballot; and
(iv) a statement that the voter must notify the local board if any of the changes listed in subsection (j) of this section have occurred.
(3) If the State Board is unable to contact a voter using the method of communication chosen by the voter under subsection (d)(1) of this section, the State Board shall send the written communication using another method if the State Board has other contact information for the voter.
(4) If the communication required under this section is sent by mail, the envelope shall include a statement, prominently placed, requesting that the recipient return the communication to the State Board if the intended recipient no longer lives at that address.
Ballot sent to each voter on list
(h) A local board shall send an absentee ballot to each voter on the permanent absentee ballot list each time there is an election.
Removal from list
(i) A voter who has permanent absentee ballot status shall be removed from the permanent absentee ballot list if:
(1) the voter requests to be removed from the list;
(2) the voter is removed from the statewide voter registration list under Title 3, Subtitle 5 of this article;
(3) the voter fails to return an absentee ballot for two consecutive statewide general elections; or
(4) any mail sent to the voter by the State Board or a local board is returned undeliverable.
Voter to notify local board
(j) A voter shall notify the local board if any of the following changes occur while the voter has permanent absentee ballot status:
(1) the voter no longer wishes to have permanent absentee ballot status;
(2) the address to which the voter's absentee ballot should be sent has changed; or
(3) the voter wishes to receive an absentee ballot by a different method from the method previously indicated by the voter.
Notice of change of address
(k) If a voter who has permanent absentee ballot status gives notice of a change of address under § 3-304 of this article, the local board shall enclose with the confirmation notice sent to the voter under § 3-502(b) of this article a notification that:
(1) the voter remains included on the permanent absentee ballot list; and
(2) the voter's absentee ballot will be sent to the voter's new address.

Credits

Added by Acts 2021, c. 56, § 1, eff. June 1, 2021; Acts 2021, c. 514, § 1, eff. June 1, 2021. Amended by Acts 2023, c. 49, § 6.
MD Code, Election Law, § 9-311.1, MD ELEC LAW § 9-311.1
Current with all legislation from the 2023 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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