Maryland

Upcoming Elections

Oct. 13, 2020 – Voter Registration Deadline

For more information, please visit the State Board of Elections website.

Oct. 20, 2020 – Deadline to Apply for Mail-In Ballot by Mail

For more information, please visit the State Board of Elections website.

Nov. 3, 2020 – Deadline to Apply for Mail-In Ballot in Person

For more information, please visit the State Board of Elections website.

Voting In Maryland

When You Can Vote

By MailMail-in ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before November 3 and received by the county board of elections by 10 a.m. on November 13.  Mail-in ballots can also be returned to any secure drop box by 8 p.m. on November 3.  Voters can also hand-deliver their ballots by 8 p.m. on November 3 to their local board of elections, an early voting center, or an Election Day vote center.

In person: Early voting will be held from Monday, October 26 through Monday, November 2. Early voting centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Vote centers on November 3 (Election Day) will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Voters in line by 8 p.m. are entitled to vote.

Where You Can Vote

Returning Mail-In Ballots: Voters can mail their completed ballots to their local boards of elections. Voters should return their ballots as soon as possible due to potential backlogs at the U.S. Postal Service. Mail-in ballots will come with prepaid return envelopes. To be counted, the ballots must be postmarked on or before November 3 and received by 10 a.m. on November 13.  

Mail-in ballots can also be hand-delivered by 8 p.m. on November 3 to any of the 200+ drop box locations available statewide or the voter’s local board of elections, an early voting center, or an Election Day vote center. 

In person: Voters can vote at any voting center in the county where they are registered.  The locations of the approximately 80 early voting centers operating statewide can be found here.  The locations of the approximately 315 voting centers operating statewide on Election Day can be found here.

Registering to Vote

Registration DeadlinesThe voter registration deadline is 21 days before Election Day, which is October 13 for the November 3 General Election.  If submitting by mail, the voter registration application must be postmarked by October 13; if registering online, the voter must complete the registration by 9 p.m. on October 13. If a voter misses the registration period, the voter can register to vote or change an existing voter registration in person during early voting (October 26 to November 2 – 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or on Election Day (November 3 – 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.). 

How to Check Your Registration: Voters can determine whether they are registered to vote by checking the Maryland State Board of Elections website.

Voters can also call Maryland’s State Board of Elections at (410) 269-2840 or (800) 222-8683 (toll free) or contact their local election board.

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in Maryland, a person must be:

  • A U.S. citizen;
  • A Maryland resident; 
  • At least 16 years old; 
    • While eligible to register at age 16, only voters who will be at least 18 years old by the next general election will be eligible to vote in the general election; and have
  • NOT been convicted of a felony AND currently serving a court-ordered sentence of imprisonment for the conviction;
  • NOT been convicted of buying or selling votes; and
  • NOT under guardianship for mental disability and where a court of competent jurisdiction has specifically found by clear and convincing evidence that the individual cannot communicate, with or without accommodations, a desire to participate in the voting process.

How to Register: Maryland residents may register online, submit a printed application, or register in person.

IMPORTANT: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of the offices listed above may not be open to the public, or may have reduced hours or require an appointment. Please check with these offices before going there to complete a voter registration application.

  • Same day registration and votingAn eligible voter can register to vote at a voting center in his/her county of residence during early voting (October 26 to November 2) or on Election Day (November 3) by bringing a document showing proof of residency.    

Identification Required for RegistrationIn addition to basic identifying information, voters are asked to provide a Maryland driver’s license number or MVA ID Card number or, if they do not have a Maryland driver’s license or MVA ID Card, the last four digits of their social security number on their voter registration application.  Their registration application will not be processed unless they provide this information or affirm, under penalty of perjury, that they do not have a Maryland driver’s license, MVA ID Card, or social security number. An election official will give eligible voters who do not provide any of the above forms of identification a unique identifying number. Individuals who register by mail and who cannot provide one of the requested numbers must present a copy of an acceptable form of identification at the time of registration or at any time before voting.  Acceptable identification includes either a current and valid photo identification (i.e., Maryland driver’s license, MVA ID card, student or employee photo ID card, military ID card, passport, or any other State or federal government issued ID card), or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the voter’s name and address. 

If a voter registers to vote or update an address at a voting center during early voting or on Election Day, the voter will need to provide documentation that shows his/her address. The voter can bring a MVA-issued license, ID card, or change of address card, or a paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, or other government document with their name and new address.

Voting Early & by Mail-In Ballot

If You Want to Vote in Person before Election Day

Early voting will be held from Monday, October 26 through Monday, November 2. Early voting centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  There are no eligibility requirements for early voting and registered voters can vote in an early voting center in the county where they live.  The list of early voting centers is available here.  

If You Want to Vote by Mail-in Ballot

How to receive an application for a mail-in ballot: Due to COVID-19, the State is encouraging its residents to vote by mail. The State Board of Elections will automatically mail all eligible voters an application for a mail-in ballot, whether or not they requested one, at the end of August/beginning of September. These applications were sent to the voter’s registered address unless the voter requested otherwise.  Voters who did not receive the mail-in ballot application sent by the State can request that another mail-in ballot application be sent to them, in either English or Spanish.

How to submit an application for a mail-in ballot: the local board of elections must receive completed applications for mail-in ballots by October 20. There are three ways for voters to return an application for a mail-in ballot:

  • Voters who have a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID card may apply online using the State’s online system.
  • Voters can fill out a paper application in English or Spanish and return it to their local board by mail, email, or fax (email addresses and fax numbers are available here)
  • Voters or their designated agents can go to their local board of election and fill out and return the application in person.
    • Voters can designate someone to be their agent who will take their completed mail-in ballot application to their local board of elections, pick up their ballot, and deliver it to them.  The voter and designated agent must complete the Designation of Agent Form.
    • NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the State Board of Elections and many local board offices are currently closed to the public. As a result, an in-person request for a mail-in ballot MAY NOT be available, or available by appointment only. Please check with your local board of elections office before making an in-person request for a mail-in ballot.

NOTE:  Voters who miss the deadline but still want to vote by mail-in ballot can apply in person at their local boards of elections at any time before the close of polls on Election Day. Either the voter or a designated agent can request the application.

Voters who submitted a request for a mail-in ballot can use the Voter Look-Up website to check on the status of their request.  

How will voters receive their ballots:  Voters choose how they want to receive their mail-in ballot at Question 5 of their application. 

  • By mail.  Voters can have the ballot sent to any address they choose.
  • By fax.
  • By Internet.  Voters can request to access their ballots electronically.  They would then be responsible for printing and returning the ballot to their local board of elections.  Note that the State discourages this method because printed and faxed ballots are not scannable.  Employees will need to transfer the information from any such ballots to official ballots that can be scanned and counted, which is time consuming.
  • Voters can also contact their local election office and arrange to pick-up their ballots in person. Voters can pick it up themselves or have a designated agent pick up the ballot for them. (Keep in mind the above warning regarding the possible closure of the State Board of Elections and local board offices due to Covid-19).

Casting a mail-in ballot:  To cast a vote by mail-in ballot, the voter can:

  • Mail the voted ballot.  The ballot must be postmarked on or before November 3 and received by the local board of elections by 10 a.m. on November 13.
  • Drop at a ballot drop off box.  At least 200 drop box locations will be available statewide until 8 p.m. on November 3 
  • Hand-deliver.  Voters can hand-deliver their ballots by 8 p.m. on November 3 to their local board of elections, an early voting center, or an Election Day vote center. 
  • Voters cannot email or fax their voted mail-in ballot. 

Mail-in ballot never arrived:  Ballots are typically mailed or available for download approximately three weeks before an election. If you requested a ballot but have not received it, and have verified on the voter look-up website that your ballot has been sent, wait a few days. Your ballot may be in transit. If the election is one week away and you have not received your ballot, please contact your local board of elections. A representative of your local board can help you.

Identification Requirements

Voters will be asked to show identification in certain limited circumstances: 

  • A voter registered by mail and has not previously met the identification requirements;
  • Someone in the voting center challenges a voter’s identity.
  • A voter who registered to vote or changed his/her address during early voting or on Election Day will need to show proof of residency. 

Acceptable identification includes:

  • A current and valid Maryland driver’s license;
  • A current and valid ID issued by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration;
  • A current and valid student ID;
  • A current and valid employee ID;
  • A current and valid military ID;
  • A current and valid U.S. passport;
  • Any other current and valid Maryland- or federal government-issued photo ID; or
  • A current (i.e., from within the last three months) utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the individual. 

Voters who cannot provide identification or proof of residency may have to vote a provisional ballot. Voters can provide identification and/or proof of residence to the local board of elections up until 10 a.m. on November 11 in order to have their provisional ballot counted.

After the election, the voter can track his/her provisional ballot to find out if it was counted.

If You Have Moved Within Your State

Moving within the Same County

You can update your address and cast a regular ballot at any early voting center in the county where you live. Note that if you register a new address on Election Day, you will be given a provisional ballot to vote.

Moving Between Counties

Voters who moved at least 21 days before the election.  Go to any voting center in your new county. Vote. You will have to use a provisional ballot if you do not appear on the precinct register for the new address.

Voters who moved less than 21 days before the election. Go to any voting center in your old county and vote by regular ballot OR vote a provisional ballot at any voting center in your new county.  

In general, voters can update their address through the Maryland Online Voter Registration System, submitting a voter registration application, or by contacting their local board of elections.

If You Are in the Military or are an Overseas Voter

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States.

Registering and Requesting an Absentee BallotMilitary and overseas voters may register to vote and request and obtain a ballot in several ways.  To register, they may register online, or fill out and mail a Maryland voter registration form, which must be postmarked by October 13, 2020.  Military and overseas voters can also fill out a Federal Post Card Application (“FPCA”) and send it to the local board of electiosn where they last resided in Maryland.  The FPCA must be received by October 13, 2020, whether returned by mail, email, or fax. If registering for the first time, the voter will have to mail the FPCA because election officials need an original signature on file. 

 

The Federal Post Card Application allows eligible military or overseas voters to simultaneously register and request their mail-in ballot.  However, if an eligible voter registers with a state voter registration form, they must separately register for a mail-in ballot. The deadlines for registering to vote (postmarked by October 13) and for applying for mail-in ballots (received by October 20) are the same as for in-state Maryland residents.

 

Receiving an Absentee ballotMilitary and overseas voters may receive their mail-in ballots by mail, email/online or fax. To request electronic transmission of the blank ballot, military and overseas voters must mark the appropriate box and provide an email address or fax number on the Federal Post Card Application.

 

Federal Write-In Absentee BallotThe Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that military and overseas voters may use. These voters may use the FWAB whether they are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that they are away from their voting residence for service-related activities, or if they are a U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S. who registered and requested an absentee ballot by the request deadline. If they do not receive their regular ballot in time, they may use the FWAB.

 

Casting an Absentee Ballot: According to the State Division of Election’s website, ballots may only be returned by mail or hand-delivery. Ballots sent by mail must be postmarked by November 3 and received by 8 p.m. November 10; ballots can be hand-delivered to the local board of elections, a ballot drop off box, an early voting center, or an Election Day vote center by the close of polls at 8 p.m. on Election Day. For specific instructions, visit the FVAP’s Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website: (https://www.fvap.gov/maryland).

If You Have a Felony Conviction

Maryland law permits persons with a felony conviction to vote so long as they are not currently incarcerated. For the purposes of eligibility to register to vote, convictions include federal, state and out-of-state convictions. Note that this does not apply if you have been convicting of buying or selling votes. Such voters must complete a new voter registration form once they become eligible and mail or hand-deliver it 21 days before the election (October 13, 2020).

Pretrial detainees who have not yet been convicted and persons with misdemeanor convictions are not disqualified from voting.  Like all other qualified voters, those serving jail time in pretrial detention or on misdemeanor convictions may apply for and cast a mail-in ballot.

If You Are Blind, Physically Disabled, or Need Language Assistance

Will the Polling Place Be Accessible?

All of the early voting centers are accessible to voters with disabilities. A voter can contact his/her local board of elections and inquire about which Election Day vote centers are accessible in the voter’s county.  

Voters with physical disabilities can also vote by mail-in ballot.   In their application for a mail-in ballot, they can request to receive their ballot via the State Board of Election’s website and can use an online tool to help them mark their ballot.  This tool is compatible with the most common software used by individuals with disabilities, and it will allow voters to make choices on their computer and have it printed on their ballot so that they can make their selections independently.

Can a Voter Get Assistance at the Polls?  

A ballot-marking device that is accessible to most voters is available at all voting locations in early voting centers and Election Day vote centers. Blind voters and voters with low vision are able to vote by listening to the ballot selections and by using the keypad. Voters with physical disabilities may also choose to use the high contrast and large print functions of the voting unit. Other assistive devices (for example, sip and puff) can be plugged into the device. If voters want to use the audio ballot, they can ask an poll worker.

In addition, a voter requiring assistance may choose any individual to assist the voter in marking or preparing the ballot, except the voter’s employer, an agent of that employer, an officer or agent of the voter’s union, a candidate on the voter’s ballot (if the voter is casting a provisional ballot), or a designated poll watcher or challenger. If the voter declines to select an individual, an poll worker, in the presence of another poll worker that represents another political party, shall assist the voter in the manner prescribed by the voter. The person rendering assistance must sign the Voter Assistance Form and may not suggest in any way how the voter should vote.

Also note that Montgomery County must provide voting materials such as ballots, forms and other voter information in at least English and Spanish, and it must make Spanish interpreters available at some precincts with expected higher levels of Spanish-speaking voters.

Election Protection Materials

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