For the 2014 Gubernatorial General Election, voters may vote in person or by absentee ballot. To vote in person, St. Mary’s County citizens may vote before Election Day at a designated early voting center in St. Mary’s County or on Election Day at the polling place for their residence in the county.
Early voting centers are open for voting from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Thursday, October 30. The early voting center is located in Room 14 inside the Potomac Building, 23115 Leonard Hall Drive in Leonardtown. For addresses, driving directions and photographs of all of the early voting centers go to www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/early_voting.html.
Voters who prefer to vote on Election Day may do so on Tuesday, November 4. Polling places will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To avoid delays, voters should try to vote between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Where to Vote:
During early voting, St. Mary’s County voters should vote at the designated early voting center. At least one early voting center is located in every county and an additional 17 early voting centers for the 2014 elections. Centers are located at accessible facilities with adequate parking and within a convenient driving distance for most voters in the county. Information about early voting centers and early voting in general is available at www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/early_voting.html.
On Election Day, St. Mary’s County voters should vote at the polling place to which they are assigned. Voters can find their assigned precinct by looking at the voter notification card they received from the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections or by clicking the Find your Polling Place link at www.elections.maryland.gov. Voters who have moved, but have not updated their address with the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections, should search for the polling place for their new address or contact the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections. It is important for voters to vote in the polling place for their new address because only those contests for which voters are eligible to vote will be counted.
How to Vote:
All voters in Maryland use the same voting system. For early voting and polling place voting, voters use a touchscreen voting system. Instructions are available to help voters familiarize themselves with the ballot and how to vote. Voters may also ask an election judge to explain how to vote on the voting system, but a voter must vote alone, unless the voter is unable to do so because of disability, inability to write, or inability to read the ballot.
For absentee and provisional voting, voters are issued a paper ballot. Absentee voters, who choose to receive their ballot electronically, print their own paper ballot to mark by hand. Voters fill in the oval next to each candidate and ballot question response they select. An online ballot marking tool is available for voters with disabilities who certify they need to use the tool to vote independently. Using the tool, voters mark their ballot using their computer, then print their paper ballot and return it by mail. At the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections, absentee ballots are fed into an optical scan voting unit which reads and tabulates the selections made by voters. All provisional ballots and absentee ballots are reviewed during a public meeting after the election and counted or rejected according to State law and regulation.
How to Get an Absentee Ballot
Voters may request to receive their absentee ballot by mail, electronically, or by fax. Visit www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/absentee.html to request an absentee ballot. The deadline to request a mailed or faxed absentee ballot is Tuesday, October 28. The deadline to request an electronic absentee ballot is Friday, October 31. Voters who request an electronic absentee ballot will be notified by email that their ballot is ready for download, then instructed to enter unique identifying information before printing their ballot, voting instructions, and return envelope template. If a St. Mary’s County voter misses the above deadlines, but still wants to vote by absentee ballot, the voter or the voter’s agent must apply in person at the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections before 8 p.m. on Election Day. Visit www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/absentee.html for more information.
Voted absentee ballots must be delivered to the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections by 8 p.m. on Election Day or mailed on or before Election Day and received by the local board by 10 a.m. on Friday, November 14. All absentee ballots are reviewed, regardless of whether or not the absentee ballots will impact the outcome of an election.
What is a Provisional Ballot?
A provisional ballot is a safeguard to ensure that individuals who believe they are registered and eligible to vote are able to vote. Voters required to vote by provisional ballot will be asked to complete a provisional ballot application, and then issued a paper ballot. It is important that voters complete the entire provisional ballot application because the information on the application is used to determine whether the provisional ballot will be counted.
All provisional ballot applications are reviewed, regardless of whether or not the provisional ballots impact the outcome of an election. A provisional ballot will only be counted after the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections has reviewed the provisional ballot application and determined that the individual is registered and eligible to vote via provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is not an alternative to the electronic voting system. Additional information about provisional voting is available at www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/provisional_voting.html.
Voters may visit www.elections.maryland.gov/elections/2014/index.html for more 2014 election information or contact the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections at 301-475-7844 Ext 1100 or the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-VOTE (8683).