More than half of Marylanders plan to vote in person for the Nov. 3 general election, a new Goucher College poll released Thursday shows.
About 51% of likely voters will travel to a polling center and vote early or on Election Day, according to the poll.
Approximately 48% of likely voters will either mail in their ballots or drop them off at a ballot box.
In Prince George’s County, about 22 drop-off boxes are currently available and another 20 installed by Oct. 17. County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said during a press conference Thursday more than 236,000 residents have requested mail-in ballots.
Alsobrooks reminded residents who plan to vote by mail that they must sign the voter oath on the envelope. State election officials have said ballots without that signature will be disqualified.
Maryland voters have until Tuesday to register to vote and Oct. 20 to request a mail-in ballot.
Because the county still leads the state with the most confirmed coronavirus cases with about 30,500, “voting by mail is still the safest way to vote in this election,” Alsobrooks said.
The poll results didn’t skew much by race, with 53% of Blacks and 51% of whites planning to vote in person. The percentages are also close among those planning to vote by mail, with Blacks at 48% and whites at 45%.
However, the figures differ when it comes to party affiliations. About 59% of Democrats plan to vote by mail and 39% in person. In comparison, 72% of Republicans will vote in person and 28% by mail.
In terms of geographic areas, 59% of voters in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties will vote by mail, compared to 39% planning to vote in person.
Among voters ages 18-34, 59% plan to vote by mail. Voters ages 35-54 recorded the highest percentage of those planning voting in person at 61%.
The percentages for voters 55 and older are exactly the same, with 49% mailing their ballots and 49% planning to vote in person.
Not surprisingly, the poll shows 61% of Marylanders would vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. About 30% support Republican incumbent Donald Trump. Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 ratio in the state.
Maryland will be one of the few states to start counting votes as they arrive, based on a measure approved by the state elections board. The vote-counting process can continue for up to 10 days after the election.
The Goucher poll surveyed 776 likely voters between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.