Judge grants elections board request to count mail-in ballots as they arrive

A Montgomery County circuit court judge sided with the state Board of Elections on Friday, ruling that Maryland elections officials may process and count mail-in ballots as they come in.

In granting the election board’s petition, Chief Administrative Judge James Bonifant accepted their argument that the expected deluge of mail-in ballots would result in a weeks-long delay before results could be tabulated, potentially creating turmoil. He rejected arguments advanced by attorneys for Del. Dan Cox (R-Frederick), the GOP candidate governor.

“There is no doubt that the increased number of mail-in ballots will have an enormous affect on the process of this election,” said Bonifant, in a ruling he delivered from the bench. “Mandatory deadlines will be missed if the court takes no action.” He stressed that his ruling applies only to this year’s elections.

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