Having second thoughts about your choices on a mail-in ballot, now that a high-profile candidate has dropped out of the Baltimore mayoral race?

Elections officials are reminding voters that if they’ve already submitted a signed ballot via mail or a dropbox, or voted during early voting, that action is final. Even if a candidate you voted for has said they no longer want the job.

“Once the ballot is cast, regardless of whether the candidate remains in the race or withdraws, the voter may not request another ballot to replace the cast ballot or vote in person during early voting or election day to replace the cast ballot,” the Maryland State Board of Elections said in a statement over the weekend.

The statement was issued following last week’s announcement by Democrat Thiru Vignarajah that he was dropping out of the mayoral race and backing rival Sheila Dixon.

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Though Vignarajah said he was dropping out, the legal deadline to withdraw from the race was in February and his name still appears on ballots. Voters can still vote for him, whether by mail or during in-person voting.

Those votes will still be tallied, elections officials said.

As of Sunday evening, 19,288 Democratic voters in the city had returned mail ballots, out of 48,193 ballots that had been sent out, according to state records.

If a voter has not submitted their mail ballot yet, there is a window of time to request a new one. Voters in that situation can go online through Friday to request a new ballot. After Friday, a voter can go to their local board of elections office to request and receive a new ballot.

Only one ballot will be counted per voter.

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Thiru Vignarajah dropped out of the mayoral race and endorsed Sheila Dixon, but his name remains on the ballots and votes for him will be counted. (Kylie Cooper/The Baltimore Banner)

In-person early voting began on May 2, the day after Vignarajah announced his exit from the race, and continues through Thursday. Traditional election-day voting will be on May 14.

There are other races in Maryland this year with candidates who dropped out late and will still appear on the ballot.

In the 6th Congressional District, which stretches from Montgomery County out to Western Maryland, three Democratic candidates dropped out past the withdrawal deadline and endorsed April McClain Delaney, according to the news website MoCo360.

One of Anne Arundel County’s school board races saw candidate Sarah Lacey, a former member of the County Council, drop out after the deadline after she failed to win support from the teachers’ union, The Capital newspaper reported.

This is not the first election that voters will see a candidate on the ballot who is no longer campaigning.

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In 2022, for example, gubernatorial candidate Rushern L. Baker III suspended his campaign ahead of the Democratic primary. He still finished fourth among 10 candidates on the ballot.

And in 2018, gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz died before the Democratic primary. His running mate for lieutenant governor, Valerie Ervin, was allowed to continue as the gubernatorial candidate, with Kamenetz’s votes counting for Ervin. She finished sixth of nine candidates.

Pamela Wood covers Maryland politics and government. She previously reported for The Baltimore Sun, The Capital and other Maryland newspapers. A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, she lives in northern Anne Arundel County.

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