Leonardtown, MD – For the 2018 General Election, voters may vote in person or by absentee ballot. To vote in person, voters who reside in St. Mary’s County 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 St. Mary’s County.

Early voting centers will be open for voting from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Thursday, October, 25 through Thursday, November 1.  The early voting center in St. Mary’s County is located at Hollywood Firehouse, 24801 Three Notch Road, Hollywood, MD 20636.  St. Mary’s County voters may vote at the designated early voting center.    A list of early voting locations can be found at:  elections.maryland.gov/voting/documents/2018_Early_Voting_Centers_web.pdf

Voters who prefer to vote on Election Day may vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. 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.

Voters can review the sample ballot they received in the mail to help familiarize themselves with the candidates of the ballot style they are eligible to vote. They can also take their sample ballot to the polling place as a reference when they vote.

Where Do I Vote?

During early voting, St. Mary’s County voters should vote at a designated early voting center in St. Mary’s County.  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 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 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 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 Do I Vote?

Maryland elections are conducted with a paper-based voting system. Voters will cast votes by marking and scanning paper ballots. Most voters will use a pen to mark a paper ballot by hand and voters unable to mark aballot by hand will use a ballot marking device. 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.  Voters fill in the oval next to each candidate and ballot question response they select.  An online ballot marking tool is also available.  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 a scanning unit 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 elections.maryland.gov/voting/absentee.html to request an absentee ballot.  The deadline to request a mailed or faxed absentee ballot is Tuesday, October 30, 2018.   The deadline to request an electronic absentee ballot is Friday, November 2, 2018.  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 8pm on Election Day. Visit 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 16, 2018. 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 atelections.maryland.gov/voting/provisional_voting.html

Voters may visit elections.maryland.gov/elections/2018/index.html for more 2018 election information or contact the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections at 301-475-4200, ext. *1625.