Maryland Elections

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Your State

Upcoming Elections

2016 Presidential Preference Caucus and Congressional/State Primary: Tuesday, April 26

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, April 5

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 18

For more information, visit the Maryland State Board of Elections.


More state specific election info below.

Voting Rights

News

Welcome to the First Presidential Election Since Voting Rights Act Gutted
06/26/16 |
Publication Date: 
Sunday, June 26, 2016 - 03:00
Excerpt: 

- by Ari Berman

Three years ago this week, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court invalidated the centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, ruling that states with the longest histories of voting discrimination no longer needed to approve their voting changes with the federal government. "The Supreme Court stuck a dagger into the heart of the Voting Rights Act," Lewis said after the decision.

That means the 2016 election is the first presidential contest in 50 years without the full protections of the VRA — and the country is witnessing the greatest rollback of voting rights since the act was passed five decades ago.

This year, 17 states have new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election cycle, including laws that make it harder to register to vote, cut back early voting and require strict forms of government-issued IDs to cast a ballot that millions of Americans don't have.

These states comprise 189 electoral votes — nearly half of the Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency — and include crucial swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia. 

There were 21 presidential debates during the primaries but not a single question was asked about voting rights. This remains one of the most important yet least discussed issues in 2016. Before anyone votes in November, there's a huge struggle underway that will decide how many eligible voters will be able to cast a ballot.

 

Kansas to Use Provisional Ballots for Upcoming Elections
06/23/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 17:00
Excerpt: 

In an effort to comply with a federal court order requiring that Kansas allow people who registered to vote at the DMV without providing proof of citizenship to vote for federal office in upcoming elections, Secretary of State Kris Kobach is planning to use provisional ballots and then throw out all of the votes for state and local races cast by the thousands of voters who register to vote at motor vehicle offices without providing proof of citizenship.

"The state had a similar process in place in the 2014 elections in which a few hundred voters who registered with a federal form were affected. But implementing it in the upcoming elections is estimated to affect as many as 50,000 who registered to vote when they got their driver's licenses without providing the citizenship documentation.

Clint Blaes, spokesman for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, said the attorney general's office has not yet received any proposed regulations from Kobach, but would review them in the same manner as any other proposed regulation.

"The secretary of state is representing himself in this lawsuit," Blaes said. "Therefore, the attorney general is not involved in either the lawsuit or the operation of the secretary of state's office."

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

Maryland Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference Caucus and Congressional/State Primary: Tuesday, April 26

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, April 5

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 18

For more information, visit the Maryland State Board of Elections.

Election Day: On election day, polling places are open continuously from 7 am until 8 pm on. Anyone in line at 8 pm will be allowed to vote.

Days of Early voting:

Early voting starts the 2nd Thursday before an election through the Thursday before an election. 

Early Voting Hours: Designated polling places will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the early voting period. 

Anyone in line at 8 pm will be allowed to vote

How to Find Your Polling Place

To locate your polling place, visit the Maryland State Board of Elections Polling Place Lookup webpage, or call your local Board of Elections or 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines

You must register at least 21 days before an election. However, an eligible citizen can still register to vote, and vote in-person in one transaction, at an early voting site during the early voting period.

  • Primary Election Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, April 5
  • General Election Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 18

How to Check if You Are Registered

  • Visit the Maryland State Board of Elections Voter Lookup webpage, or
  • Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

How to Register

Online

You can use Maryland's Online Voter Registration System (OLVR) to register to vote.  You must provide a valid Maryland-issued state ID number or driver's license number.  If you reside outside of the United States or are a member of the military or spouse or dependent of a member of the military, you can provide the last four digits of your US social security number.  If you provide a Maryland-issued ID, the signature on file with the MVA will become your official voter registration signature.  If you provide a social security number, it will be used as your official voter registration signature.

In Person

  • At their local board or state board office;
  • At the Moter Vehicle Administration when applying for the issuance, renewal, or modification of a driver’s license or identification card;
  • At certain other state agencies when completing other transactions;
  • At a registration site administered by a local board; or
  • At a voter registration agency.

You can also register to vote at an early voting site.  If you choose to register at an early voting site, bring a document that proves where you live, such as your MVA-issued license, ID card, or change of address card, or your paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, or other government document with your name and new address.

By Mail

Either print an application form or contact your local board of elections or the State Board of Elections to request an application; fill out and print the Voter Registration Application form according to the instructions provided with it.  Be sure to sign the form where appropriate before mailing it.  The Voter Registration Application form cannot be processed without an ORIGINAL signature.

  • You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the Voter Registration Application form.  We encourage you to fill out the form directly from Adobe Acrobat Reader and then print and sign it.
  • Forms can be MAILED to the State Board of Elections (see address) or to your county's Board of Elections.  Do NOT fax or e-mail your Voter Registration Application.

Registration Eligibility

In order to be eligible to register or vote in Maryland, an individual must be:

  • A U.S. citizen;
  • A Maryland resident; and
  • At least 16 years old.  You may register to vote if you are at least 16 years old but cannot vote unless you will be at least 18 years old by the next general election.

 You cannot have been:

  • Convicted of buying or selling votes;
  • Under guardianship for mental disability and found by a court to be unable to communicate a desire to vote; or
  • Convicted of a felony and currently serving a court-ordered sentence of imprisonment.
    Effective March 10, 2016, if you have been convicted of a felony, you are eligible to register to vote once you have completed the court-ordered sentence of imprisonment. 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.

Identification Required for Registration

With your voter registration application, you must provide:

  • A Maryland driver’s license number;
  • MVA ID Card number; or
  • If you do not have a Maryland driver’s license or MVA ID Card, the last four digits of your Social Security Number.

Your application will NOT be processed unless you provide this information or affirm, under penalty of perjury, that you do not have a Maryland driver’s license, MVA ID Card, or social security number.

Identification Requirements to Vote

Some first time voters in Maryland will be asked to show ID before voting.

If you are asked to show ID, please show an election judge one of the following forms of ID:

  • A copy of a current and valid photo ID (i.e., Maryland driver's license, MVA-issued ID card, student, employee, or military ID card, U.S. passport, or any other State or federal government-issued ID card);
  • A copy of a current utility bill;
  • A copy of a current bank statement; 
  • A copy of a current government check or paycheck; or
  • A copy of another current government document that shows your name and address.

Current means that the document is dated within 3 months of the election.

If you do not show the required ID, then you will have to cast a provisional ballot.  You will have until 10 a.m. the second Wednesday after the election to provide the required ID to the local board of elections.

If You Want to Vote Early

Early voting starts the 2nd Thursday before an election through the Thursday before an election.  Designated polling places will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the early voting period.

For Early Voting questions and locations, please visit the Maryland State Board of Elections Early Voting Page.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot. 

There are three ways you can request an absentee ballot:

Your request for an absentee ballot must be received (not just mailed):

  • 7 days before Election Day, if you want to receive your ballot by mail or fax;
  • 4 days before Election Day, if you want to download your ballot from the State’s website; or
  • Election Day, if you or your agent is picking up the absentee ballot from the local board of elections.
If you choose to have an agent pick up your absentee ballot from the local board of elections, you must fill out and sign the following Designation of Agent form, and your agent must also sign the form:

You must return your ballot by mail or by hand delivery--it CANNOT be faxed or emailed.  Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your local board of elections by 10 am on the 2nd Friday after the election.  Hand delivered absentee ballots must be delivered to your local board of elections by 8 pm on Election Day.  

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

With your voter registration application, you must provide:

  • A Maryland driver’s license number;
  • MVA ID Card number; or
  • If you do not have a Maryland driver’s license or MVA ID Card, the last four digits of your Social Security Number.

Your application will NOT be processed unless you provide this information or affirm, under penalty of perjury, that you do not have a Maryland driver’s license, MVA ID Card, or social security number.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Some first time voters in Maryland will be asked to show ID before voting.

If you are asked to show ID, please show an election judge one of the following forms of ID:

  • A copy of a current and valid photo ID (i.e., Maryland driver's license, MVA-issued ID card, student, employee, or military ID card, U.S. passport, or any other State or federal government-issued ID card);
  • A copy of a current utility bill;
  • A copy of a current bank statement; 
  • A copy of a current government check or paycheck; or
  • A copy of another current government document that shows your name and address.

Current means that the document is dated within 3 months of the election.

If you do not show the required ID, then you will have to cast a provisional ballot.  You will have until 10 a.m. the second Wednesday after the election to provide the required ID to the local board of elections.

Give the local board of elections where you currently live your new address information.  You can use the voter registration application to make the change, or you can submit in writing your new address.  You can also use the voter registration application to make a name or party affiliation change.

If you changed your address with MVA, the change should have been sent to your local board of elections unless you specifically stated that you did not want your address changed for voter registration purposes.  You can verify that your address has been updated by using the voter look-up website.  If you cannot find your information by entering the zip code of your new address, try entering the zip code of your former address.  If you find your information using your former address information, it means that your change of address has not been processed.  Please contact your local board of elections or submit a voter registration application with your new information.

If you do not receive a Voter Notification Card with your new address and polling place information within three to four weeks, contact the local board of elections where you now live to ensure that your records are up-to-date.

There is a deadline to submit your new address information.  To update your address before the next election, please use Maryland's Online Voter Registration System (OLVR) or submit a voter registration application or written notice with your new address at least 21 days before the election, unless you make the change at an early voting location.  If you submit the information after this date and do not change it during early voting at an early voting site, the change cannot be made until after the election and you will have to vote a provisional ballot.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  For more information on how to use this process to register and vote in Maryland, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Maryland-specific FPCA page. Military or overseas voters registered in Maryland may request an absentee ballot online if you have a Maryland Driver’s License, MVA ID Card, or Social Security Number. 

The deadlines for registration and requests for absentee ballots are the same as for in-state Maryland residents.  Military or overseas voters registered in Maryland may request an absentee ballot online if you have a Maryland Driver’s License, MVA ID Card, or Social Security Number.  Ballots must be postmarked by 8 p.m. Election Day, and received the 10th day after the election.

Military and overseas citizens can also use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's Maryland-specific FWAB page.

Effective, March 10, 2016, if you have been convicted of a felony and have completed serving a court-ordered sentence of imprisonment, you are eligible to register to vote. 

However, you do not qualify to register to vote if you have been convicted of buying or selling votes.

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

**The materials below have not been updated since 2014**

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the Maryland Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

2016 Election Information for your state