AFT-Maryland Political Coordinator Todd Reynolds briefed the Political Committee on all of the upcoming political news and information at their March meeting. Much of the meeting was spent discussing the Metro-Baltimore AFL-CIO endorsement process and what candidates were endorsed or considered for endorsement by the AFL-CIO. The major races in 2020 are in Baltimore city and the city unions were represented at the committee meeting. In attendance were representatives from CUB, BTU, and AFT-Maryland.
Beyond the endorsement process, Reynolds explained what get out the vote (GOTV) efforts will look like, considering the precautions being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the 2019 novel coronavirus. Phone banking will likely be a major tool AFT-Maryland will use to communicate to members as opposed to door-knocking which is usually how AFL-CIO GOTV efforts are done. All of the affiliated AFL-CIO unions are encouraged to recruit members to volunteer for labor endorsed candidates. Members are free to vote for whichever candidate they want, however the union recommendation serves as a guide to which candidates are allies to Maryland public employees.
The final focus of the meeting was a concentration on alternative voting options for Marylanders. While traditional voting is currently still available, Maryland also allows registered voters to submit absentee ballots. Requests for absentee ballots in Maryland must be received before April 21 for the 2020 Primary election. For more information on absentee ballot rules and requirements, members are encouraged to visit elections.maryland.gov/voting/absentee.html.