Facts About Maryland Elections
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition,
the Attorney General's hotline will receive complaints regarding
voter intimidation or voter suppression efforts.
1. A person may register
to vote if he/she meets the following requirements:
be a U.S. citizen
be a Maryland resident
be at least 16 years old. Although 16- and 17-year-olds
may register, they may not vote until they are of age.
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.
have been convicted of buying or selling votes
have been found by a court unable to communicate a desire
to vote while under guardianship for mental disability
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:
local board of elections
State Board of Elections
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Department of Social Services
Motor Vehicle Administration
Offices on Aging
MTA Paratransit Certification Office
public institutions of higher education
offices of the U.S. Armed Forces
for Students with Disabilities at all Maryland colleges
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
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
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
Does Maryland have early voting?
Yes.† Any registered voter can vote in person before
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:
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.
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
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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?
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,
- He or she has not previously met the identification requirements
of the federal Help America Vote Act.
Acceptable forms of identification are:
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
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,
9. May ex-felons vote
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
10. How long are the
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
A provisional ballot is used for an individual who asserts
that he or she is registered and eligible to vote, but
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.
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.
if voting hours are extended by a court on election day,
votes cast during extended hours will be by provisional
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,
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
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
18. What is a poll watcher
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
The challenge must be made before the person receives
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
If your identity is challenged and you are unable
to provide the
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.
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?
Regulations prohibit the use of cameras and other electronic
devices in polling places.
Other Voter Contact
General 2008 Press Release re: Foreclosures and Voting
General's 2008 Report on Voting Irregularities
Maryland State Board of Elections
State Board of Election's Rumor Control list
boards of elections contact info