Voting in Maryland: What you need to know (updated for November election)

Our democracy works best when we all participate. Make sure you, your friends, and family have a plan to vote this November. Here is everything you need to know.

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Emily Scarr
Maryland PIRG State Director

Author: Emily Scarr

Maryland PIRG State Director

(410) 467-9389

Started on staff: 2005
B.A., Vassar College

Emily directs strategy, organizational development, research, communications and legislative advocacy for Maryland PIRG. Recently, Emily helped win small donor public financing in Montgomery County, Howard County, Prince George's County, and Baltimore City; the Family and Firefighter Protection Act to ban flame retardants in children's products, furniture and mattresses; and, the Maryland Keep Antibiotics Effective Act to protect public health by restricting the use of antibiotics on Maryland farms. Emily serves on the Executive Committees of the Maryland Fair Elections Coalition, the Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working, and the Maryland Tobacco Free Kids Coalition. She also serves on the Steering Committees for the Maryland Pesticide Action Network and Marylanders for Open Government. Emily lives in Baltimore with her husband, children, and dog.

Our democracy works best when we all participate. Make sure you, your friends, and family have a plan to vote this November. Here is everything you need to know.

Are you registered to vote?

In order to receive your ballot in the mail, you have to be registered to vote in Maryland. You can confirm your registration on the State Board of Elections website. The deadline to register to vote online was October 13th, so if you need to update your registration or register to vote for the first time you can do so at an in-person vote center during early voting or on Election Day with I.D. and proof of address.

How to get your ballot in the mail

Unlike the June primary, you need to fill out a request form to receive your ballot in the mail. Any voter who wants to receive a ballot in the mail, can receive a ballot in the mail. Once you are registered to vote, you can request a mail in ballot. The deadline to request your ballot be mailed to you is October 20th.

You can request you ballot by mail using an online form if you have a Maryland state ID. If you do not, you will need to print out the form and drop it it in a drop box or mail it in. Again, your local board of elections needs to receive your request by October 20th.

Once you have filled out the request form, you can track your ballot throughout the whole voting process.

Here are some of our tips:
  • If you have a Maryland state ID card, you can request your balllot online right now. This is the best way to request your ballot because it takes less staff time to process.
  • Please request your ballot be MAILED to you, unless you absolutely need your ballot via email. 
  • If you do not have a Maryland state ID card, you can print out the ballot request form, stamp it and mail it, or drop it off at your local board of elections
  • The State Board of Elections will be mailing vote by mail applications to all voters, but it is better to use the online form. If you have not already requested your ballot, you can fill it out and either mail it back with the pre-paid envelope or drop it off at your local board of elections
  • The deadline to apply for a mail in ballot is Tuesday, October 20th. Your application must be RECEIVED by your local board of elections by October 20th.

How to vote by mail

  • The State Board of Elections will begin mailing ballots to voters in mid-September. The sooner you submit your application, the better.
  • To confirm you are registered and your ballot is on the way, visit the Board of Elections website.
  • Please use BLACK ink to fill out your ballot, and don't forget to sign the envelope.
  • Your ballot will have a return envelope with postage already paid. You can either send your ballot by mail, drop it off at your local board of elections, or drop it off at an official drop off box in your COUNTY by 8pm on November 3rd. 

Voting in person

  • If you need assistance voting, do not receive a ballot in the mail, still need to register to vote, or just prefer to do so in person, you will be able to vote at an early voting center in your county on Monday, October 26th through Monday, November 2nd 7am - 8pm, or at an Election Day vote center on Tuesday, November 3rd from 7am - 8pm.
  • If you have issues voting, contact these election protection hotlines: ACLU of MD: (443)399-3229 and Common Cause Maryland/Lawyers Committee: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

Helping Your Neighbors, Friends, and Family Vote

As always, we are doing everything we can to help voters, especially new voters, navigate the process. Here's how you can help ensure your friends and family are able to participate.

  1. Help them confirm their registration is up to date, and help them request their ballot in the mail, or an absentee ballot if they need one (deadline is October 20th).
  2. Ask if they received their ballot and help them follow up with local Board of Elections if they did not get one. 
  3. Remind them to mail in or drop off their ballot. 
  4. If they need to register to vote, update their registration, or need to vote in person for whatever reason, help them get to a vote center during early voting or on Election Day.

[photo courtesy of Globe Collection and Press at MICA]

Emily Scarr
Maryland PIRG State Director

Author: Emily Scarr

Maryland PIRG State Director

(410) 467-9389

Started on staff: 2005
B.A., Vassar College

Emily directs strategy, organizational development, research, communications and legislative advocacy for Maryland PIRG. Recently, Emily helped win small donor public financing in Montgomery County, Howard County, Prince George's County, and Baltimore City; the Family and Firefighter Protection Act to ban flame retardants in children's products, furniture and mattresses; and, the Maryland Keep Antibiotics Effective Act to protect public health by restricting the use of antibiotics on Maryland farms. Emily serves on the Executive Committees of the Maryland Fair Elections Coalition, the Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working, and the Maryland Tobacco Free Kids Coalition. She also serves on the Steering Committees for the Maryland Pesticide Action Network and Marylanders for Open Government. Emily lives in Baltimore with her husband, children, and dog.