By SHANNON CLARK
Early voting in Maryland starts Thursday, Oct. 27, and will run daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Thursday, Nov. 3. Maryland residents next can cast their ballots 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. Capital News Service spoke with the Maryland State Board of Elections to answer frequently asked questions regarding voting.
Where can you vote?
Registered Maryland voters can find their voting location on the Maryland State Board of Elections’ website, said Nikki Charlson, deputy administrator for the Maryland State Board of Elections.
Voters can search for their polling location by viewing their voter registration online. If the address attached to the voter registration is correct, the website will tell users where to vote. If the address is incorrect, users have the option to enter their correct address and be directed to the polling location associated with that address.
“We just want (voters) to go to the polling place assigned to where they live now, so we can get them the right ballot,” Charlson said.
How do I determine if you are eligible to vote?
Voter eligibility requirements are listed here on the state’s election website. To register to vote in Maryland, you must be a U.S. citizen, a Maryland resident and at least 16 years old, although residents cannot vote until they are 18. The voter registration online deadline has passed, but Marylanders can register to vote in-person until the polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day.
People in Maryland correctional facilities are also eligible to vote if they have not been convicted of a felony, Charlson said. Those who have been convicted of a felony are eligible to register to vote after completion of “court-ordered sentence of imprisonment,” according to the board of elections.
What is the deadline for returning the mail-in ballot?
There are two options for returning mail-in ballots. Ballots may be returned in-person to a local board of elections until 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. Ballots can also be returned to an early voting center or ballot drop-off box by the time polls close.
Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Nov. 8 and the ballot must be received by a local board of elections by 10 a.m. on Nov. 18.
How soon will we know the results of the election?
Charlson said election results will be posted on a rolling schedule. Once the polls close on Nov. 8., results from early voting will be posted. During the evening of Election Day, results will be posted as the state board of elections receives them.
Are votes being counted now?
There are some local boards of elections that are counting votes now, but the official results will not be posted until after the polls close on Election Day, Charlson said. Ballots are counted by each county.