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Other Voter Contact Numbers

Attorney General 2008 Press Release re: Foreclosures and Voting

Attorney General's 2008 Report on Voting Irregularities

Maryland State Board of Elections

Maryland State Board of Election's Rumor Control list

Local boards of elections contact info


Instructions of the
Attorney General
For the Use of the Voter Registration and Election Officials of Maryland


   
 
   

Basic Facts About Maryland Elections

Voter Registration:

Voting

Attorneys from the Office of Attorney General will be available during early voting and on Election Day during polling hours to answer questions about election and voting laws. You may reach the Attorney General’s hot line at 1-866-298-8245 or you may e-mail us at voting@oag.state.md.us. In addition, the Attorney General's hotline will receive complaints regarding voter intimidation or voter suppression efforts.


Voter Registration

1. A person may register to vote if he/she meets the following requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be a Maryland resident
  • Must be at least 16 years old. Although 16- and 17-year-olds may register, they may not vote until they are of age.
    • A 17-year-old who has registered may vote in the Primary Election, provided the individual will be 18 years old on or before the General Election.
  • Not have been convicted of buying or selling votes
  • Not have been found by a court unable to communicate a desire to vote while under guardianship for mental disability
  • Not have been convicted of a felony for which they are currently serving court-ordered sentence of imprisonment, including parole and probation for the conviction.

2. A person may register to vote by going in person to any of the following Agencies or Offices:

  • A local board of elections
  • The State Board of Elections
  • The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • The Department of Social Services
  • The Motor Vehicle Administration
  • The Offices on Aging
  • The MTA Paratransit Certification Office
  • All public institutions of higher education
  • Recruitment offices of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Marriage License Office
  • Offices for Students with Disabilities at all Maryland colleges and universities.

A person may also go to the State Board of Elections website at www.electionsmaryland.com and print a voter registration application. Once you complete the application, you must mail it or deliver it in person to your local board of elections.

3. Voter Registration Deadline for the 2012 Election

A voter registration application may be submitted to your local board of elections or the State Board of Elections at any time. However, an application must be postmarked byMarch 13, 2012, to vote in the Primary Election and by October 16, 2012, to vote in the General Election. If you submit a voter registration application during the period that registration is closed, your application will be held at the local board of elections and processed when registration reopens.

4. How may I verify my voter registration?

You may call your local county election board or go to the State Board of Elections Voter Registration Search and the Polling Place Locator at https://www.mdelections.umd.edu/voter_registration/v2/vote_prod.php

Voting

1. Does Maryland have early voting?

Yes.† Any registered voter can vote in person before election day.

2. Where can I vote early?

You can vote in any early voting center in the county where you live.† Below is the link to listings of the early voting sites:

http://www.elections.state.md.us/voting/early_voting_sites.html

Early voting centers will operate only during the early voting period, not on Election Day.  On Election Day you may vote in person at your local polling place.

3. When can I vote early?

For information on local elections see link to Maryland's local boards of elections below: http://www.elections.state.md.us/about/county_boards.html.

For the primary election, early voting centers will be open starting Saturday, March 24, 2012 through Thursday, March, 29, 2012 except for Sunday, March 25th when early voting centers are closed.

For the general election, early voting centers will be open starting Saturday October 27, 2012 through Thursday, November 1, 2012, except for Sunday, October 28th when early voting centers are closed.

Early voting centers will be open from 10 am until 8 pm each day of early voting. Anyone in line at 8 pm will be allowed to vote.

4. How does a person vote in Maryland?

All voters in Maryland use the same voting system at the polling places. Voters will use a touchscreen voting system. With a touch screen voting system, a voter touches the screen to make, change, and review selections and cast a ballot. For more information and a demonstration of the touch screen voting system, please go to www.electionsmaryland.com.

5. Who may vote by absentee ballot?

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot.

6. What if the voter applied for an absentee ballot but did not receive the ballot or did not send it in?

  • If election officials have a record that a voter applied for an absentee ballot and was sent one, the voter may not vote by regular ballot.
  • If the voter has the absentee ballot, the voter should fill it out and take it to the local election office by no later than 8pm on Election Day.
  • If the voter does not have the absentee ballot, the voter should vote by provisional ballot.

7. Does a voter have to show identification to vote?

Generally, no voter will be asked to provide identification unless all three of the following are true:

  • He or she is voting for the first time in Maryland;
  • He or she registered to vote by mail on or after January 1, 2003; and
  • He or she has not previously met the identification requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act.

Acceptable forms of identification are:

  • A Maryland Driverís License or other Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) issued identification
  • A student ID card that contains a photo
  • An employee ID card that contains a photo
  • A passport or other government issued ID

If a person does not have any of the above identification, he or she may provide a recent document (i.e., dated within the last three months) such as a utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that contains the voterís name and address. Please note that the name and address on any of these documents must match the information on the voter registration roll.

8. Does a voter need his or her voter registration card in order to vote?

No, a voter does not need a voter notification card to vote. When a voter checks in to vote, the voter will be asked to provide the voter's name, month and date of birth, and address.

9. May ex-felons vote in Maryland?

Under legislation passed in 2007, persons who have fully completed their felony sentences, including any probationary periods, are entitled to vote in Maryland. Ex-felons are required to re-register to vote using the same registration process listed above.

10. How long are the polls open?

During Early Voting, Early Voting centers will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

On Election Day polls are open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. . Anyone in line at 8:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

11. What is a provisional ballot?

A provisional ballot is used for an individual who asserts that he or she is registered and eligible to vote, but whose name does not appear on the voter roll or register. A provisional ballot will only be counted after the local board of elections has reviewed the provisional ballot application and determined that the individual is registered and eligible to vote.

A provisional ballot may also be used by a voter who has gone to the wrong polling place but wants to vote there anyway.  However, if a provisional ballot is cast outside the voterís proper election district, the voter's selections for local contests or local ballot questions will not be counted.

Finally, if voting hours are extended by a court on election day, votes cast during extended hours will be by provisional ballot.

12. What happens if a person's name is not on the voter roll at the precinct?

If a voter is not on the current voter roll but knows that he or she has registered, the voter should be allowed to vote at that precinct by provisional ballot. However, if a provisional ballot is cast outside the voterís proper election district, the voter's selections for local contests or local ballot questions will not be counted.

13. Can a voter wear a candidateís button or t-shirt to the polling place?

A voter may wear campaign paraphernalia (buttons, t-shirts, hats, stickers, etc) into the polling place while there to vote. However, once the voter has voted, the voter may not linger in the polling place.

14. If a voterís home was foreclosed, may he or she vote?

Yes. An individual is entitled to vote in the precinct or election district in which the voter resides, and the voter retains the right to vote in that precinct or district until a residence in another precinct or district is established.

See Attorney General Ganslerís letter on this subject at: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/2008/092608b.htm

15. Are children allowed in the voting booth?

Children 17 years of age and under are allowed to accompany a voter as long as they are in the care of the voter and do not disrupt or interfere with normal voting procedures.

16. May a person have someone else assist him or her with voting?

You may have assistance in the polling place in casting your ballot if you have a physical disability or are unable to read the English language. Assistance will be given, if requested, by two election judges or you can bring someone with you. The person you bring with you may not be your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your union.

17. Are polling places accessible for individuals with disabilities?

All polling places should be accessible for voters with disabilities. In addition, an audio ballot, magnified and contrasting text, and an adjustable touch screen to accommodate those voters who prefer to sit while voting can be made available upon request.

18. What is a poll watcher or challenger?

Any candidate, party, or recognized organization, including the State, the State Board of elections, and local boards of elections, supporting or opposing an issue or candidate in the election, may designate a registered voter as a watcher or challenger. The watcher or challenger must have a valid certificate signed by a party, group or candidate. Election judges may determine if a watcher or challenger has a proper certificate.

19. Who may challenge another personís vote?

Maryland law authorizes an accredited poll watcher to challenge another person's vote only on the grounds of identity. The challenge must be made before the person receives the voter authority card, is issued a ballot, or enters the voting booth. In addition, individuals who are not accredited may enter the polling place to make a specific challenge  to a particular voter, but must leave the poling place as soon as the challenge has been made.

If your identity is challenged and you are unable to provide the proper identification, you will be asked to complete an affidavit to confirm your identity and you will be issued a provisional ballot. The challenger must complete an affidavit, provided by an election judge, indicating the basis for his or her challenge. The provisional ballot will be counted if the local board of elections determines that you are the registered voter you claim to be and are eligible to vote.

20. May I take photos or videos inside a polling place?

No. Regulations prohibit the use of cameras and other electronic devices in polling places.

Other Voter Contact Numbers

Attorney General 2008 Press Release re: Foreclosures and Voting

Attorney General's 2008 Report on Voting Irregularities

Maryland State Board of Elections

Maryland State Board of Election's Rumor Control list

Local boards of elections contact info


   

 

 

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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