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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Continuing Updates on the 2020 Election

Last Updated: 8/12/20

Maryland COVID-19 Election Information:

Vote.org Maryland Election Center: information and deadlines for absentee voting, early voting, and election day

Maryland's State Elections Website

Request an absentee ballot from Maryland »

Voter Registration in Maryland

Eligibility

  • Age: At least 16(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)
  • Formerly incarcerated individuals: 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.
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Residence: A Maryland Resident
  • College students: you may register at your school address only if you consider this address to be your “official” or “permanent” home
  • Check to see if you are already registered 

More information on Maryland voter eligibility

Deadline

  • Voter registration deadlines are determined by the date of the election.
  • April 7, 2020, for the Presidential Primary Election
  • October 13, 2020, for the Presidential General Election
  • Guidelines
  • Election Calendar

You can also register to vote during early voting

Online registration

In addition to basic identifying information, federal law requires that you provide on your voter registration application a Maryland driver’s license number or 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.

Online registration form (in English and Spanish)

Mail-in registration

Printable registration form (in English)

Printable registration form (in Spanish)

Refer to the box below for information about ID requirements.

Choosing a political party:   

You have the option to register with any of Maryland’s recognized political parties. If you choose not to register with a party, you will be registered as “unaffiliated.”     

Updating registration      

To update registration after a move, name change, or change of political party affiliation, use the voter registration form or the online registration system.

Cancelling registration

You do not need to cancel your registration if you move within Maryland.  You may cancel your registration by contacting the county board of elections.

Maryland Local Boards of Elections

ID Requirements for Maryland Voters

ID Requirements for Registration

Online Registration

In addition to basic identifying information, federal law requires that you provide on your voter registration application a Maryland driver’s license number or 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.

Mail-in Registration

For mail-in registration you must provide one of the documents listed on the form:

  • Driver’s license or MVA ID number, OR
  • Last four digits of Social Security number

Late Registration

You can also register to vote during early voting. Go to an early voting center in the county where you live and bring a document that proves where you live. This document can be 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.

ID Requirements for Voting

First Time Voters

Voters voting for the first time in Maryland may need to provide ID. Eligible forms of ID include a copy of a current and valid Maryland driver's license or MVA ID card, student, employee, or military ID, U.S. passport; or A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document with your name and current address (the same address you write on your provisional ballot application). Current means that the document is dated within 3 months of the election.

All Other Voters

Maryland does not have ID requirements for registered voters voting at their assigned polling place, assuming their names are found on the voter rolls.  

If not found on the voter rolls, voters may cast a provisional ballot.  

More information on ID requirements

Where to get an ID

Motor Vehicle Administration

Obtaining a Driver’s License

Obtaining a non-driver photo ID

Casting a Ballot in Maryland

Important Dates

  • Primary Election: April 28, 2020 7 am until 8 pm
  • Early Voting for the Primary Election - Thursday, April 16, 2020 through Thursday, April 23, 2020 from 10 am until 8 pm.
  • General Election: November 3, 2020, 7 am until 8 pm
  • Early Voting for the General Election - Thursday, October 22, 2020 through Thursday, October 29, 2020 from 8 am until 8 pm.

Absentee voting

More information on absentee voting

Opening/closing dates

  • For the 2020 Primary Election, your request must be received (not just mailed) by:

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, if you want to receive your ballot by mail or fax

Friday, April 24, 2020, if you want to download your ballot from the State's website

  • For the 2020 General Election, your request must be received (not just mailed) by:

Tuesday, October 27, 2020, if you want to receive your ballot by mail or fax

Friday, October 30, 2020, if you want to download your ballot from the State's website

  • You must mail or hand deliver your voted ballot. You cannot submit your voted ballot online, return it by email or fax, or take it to an early voting center or a polling place.
  • If you hand deliver your ballot, you must deliver it to your local board of elections by 8 pm on election day.
  • If you mail your ballot, the envelope must be postmarked on or before primary election day (April 28, 2020) or general election day (November 3, 2020) and received by your local board of elections by 10 am on May 8, 2020 (for the primary election) or November 13, 2020 (for the general election).

Military voters and voters who reside outside the U.S.

Who is eligible to use an absentee ballot?

  • Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot. You don't need a reason to vote by absentee ballot. It's another way to vote if you don't want to or can't go to an early voting center or your polling place.

Application for Absentee Ballot (in English)

Application for Absentee Ballot (in Spanish)

 

Polling places and hours

  • Use the Polling Place Locator to find your polling place
  • For a general election or primary, polls in Maryland are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Check with Local Government or Local Board of Elections for local referenda and town elections.
  • Time off to vote: Employers must give certain employees time off to vote and pay them for their absence. If an employee is a registered voter and does not have two continuous hours off-duty between 7 am and 8 pm on election day, the voter's employer must give the employee two hours to vote and pay the employee for the two hour absence.

Rides to the polls

Many organizations offer free rides to polling places. Some of these include:

  • Lyft provides free or discounted rides in some underserved communities
  • Political parties sometimes arrange rides for voters. Contact the local office:

Republican Party

Democratic Party

Help for voters with disabilities

  • Disability Rights Maryland enacts an Advocacy Service Plan to help Maryland’s voters with disabilities.
  • All polling places in Maryland are required to be accessible and assistance is available from election judges if needed.

Ballots

Where to get more info on candidates

Referenda 

Sample ballots

Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • Primary elections are conducted to select each party’s candidates in the general election.
  • Generally, you must be registered with either the Democratic or Republican Party to vote in the primary election. If there are non-partisan offices that are elected in a primary election (i.e., school board), any voter can vote for these offices.
  • In a general election, voters are not required to have a party affiliation.

 

 

Jurisdiction

Offices/Measures That May Appear on the Ballot

Federal (even years)

President/Vice-President (elected every four years; next election in 2020)

Senator (elected every six years for staggered terms; next election in 2022)

Representative (elected every two years)

State (even years)

Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Comptroller, Attorney General, Circuit Court Judge(elected every four years; next election in 2022)

State Senator (elected every four years; next election in 2022)

House of Delegates (elected every four years; next election in 2022)

Statewide ballot measures

Board of Education (by county, 

Municipal (by district)

Baltimore Mayor, City Comptroller, City Council (elected every four years; next election in 2020)

County Executive(varies by county)

County Council(varies by county)

Other Offices determined at the municipal level

Who are the candidates, and what else is on the ballot?

Sample ballots are available from the Maryland Voter Services guide.

Important Dates

Election Day is November 3, 2020

Dates of elections are governed in the Maryland Code Elections section

Who conducts elections?

  • The The State and Local Boards of Elections oversee statewide and local elections
  • The Local Boards of Elections maintain voter rolls for each municipality
  • Municipal elections are managed and scheduled by individual municipalities.

Voter Bill of Rights

Maryland does not have a Voter Bill of Rights

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

Complaints about elections in Maryland are handled by State Boards of Elections and Local Boards of Elections.

Campaign finance

Maryland Campaign Reporting Information System provides access to candidates’ election committee and Political Action Committee campaign finance filings

How to contact your elected officials:

Find your elected officials

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.