Some St. Mary’s County residents vote early and beat the crowds!
Leonardtown, MD – For the 2016 Presidential General Election, voters can vote in person or by absentee ballot. To vote in person, voters who reside in St. Mary’s County can vote before Election Day at an early voting center in St. Mary’s or on Election Day at the polling place for their residence in St. Mary’s.
Early voting centers are open for voting from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning today (Oct. 27) through Nov. 3. The best days to vote early to avoid delays are Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30. The early voting center in St. Mary’s County is located at the Hollywood Firehouse Carnival/Bingo Building, 24801 Three Notch Road in Hollywood, MD 20636. Voters in St. Mary’s may vote at the early voting center. Addresses of all of early voting centers are available at www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/early_voting.html.
Voters who prefer to vote on Election Day can vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8. On Election Day, polling places will be open for voting 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 do I vote?
During early voting, St. Mary’s County voters should vote at a designated early voting center in St. Mary’s. There is at least one early voting center in every county. 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 their assigned polling place. Voters can find their assigned polling place by looking at the voter notification card they received from the St. Mary’s 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 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 do I vote?
There is a new paper-based voting system in Maryland. Voters will now cast votes by marking and scanning paper ballots. Most voters will use pens to mark paper ballots by hand but, there will be an accessible device for voters who need help reading or marking a ballot. All voters will insert their marked paper ballots into a scanner. Instructions will be 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 or use the online ballot marking tool to mark and print the ballot. To mark a ballot by hand, voters fill in the ovals next to the candidates or ballot question responses for which they want to vote. At the St. Mary’s Board of Elections, the ballot is fed into a scanner which reads and tabulates the selections made by voters. All provisional ballots and absentee ballots are reviewed in a public meeting after the election and counted or rejected according to State law and regulation.
How can I 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 absentee ballot is Tuesday, Nov. 1. The deadline to request an electronic absentee ballot is Friday, Nov. 4. 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 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 Board of Elections before 8 p.m. on Election Day. Visit www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/absentee.html for more information.
Voted absentee ballots may be delivered to the St. Mary’s Board of Elections by 8 p.m. on Election Day or mailed on or before Election Day and received by the local board by Friday, Nov. 18. 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 in fact registered and eligible to vote the 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 can visit www.elections.maryland.gov/elections/2016/index.html for more 2016 election information or contact the St. Mary’s Board of Elections at 301-475-7844 Ext 1100 or the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-VOTE (8683).