Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday defended his decision to hold a traditional election in November, despite growing concerns from voting rights advocates and election officials about the impact of his choice amid a global pandemic.
Hogan (R) said he opted for a “normal” election instead of a “vote by mail only” because of the chaos that occurred during the June 2 primary, when the state mailed ballots to every voter and opened only a few polling sites in each jurisdiction. Far more voters than expected opted to cast their ballots in person, leading to huge lines and hours-long waits in many placed.
“I’m encouraging everyone to vote by mail instead of vote by mail only, which is what some of our Democratic colleagues are pushing for,” Hogan said during an appearance on the television show “The View,” where he explained his decision to open all polling sites in the state and mail absentee-ballot applications to every voter, rather than the ballots themselves.
“In the primary we had, the state board of elections screwed up getting ballots out.” Hogan said. “They mailed the wrong ballots, they mailed Spanish ballots to English speakers. They sent things to the wrong districts. They got them out too late.”
Voting rights advocates have increasingly criticized Hogan’s decision not to limit polling sites or mail ballots to every voter, calling it misguided. Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) has urged Hogan to reverse his order, saying it could have “devastating consequences.”