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Early voting expansion passes Md. Senate

The Senate approved Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed expansion of early voting Monday night, sending the legislation to the House of Delegates.

Senators voted 35-12, with most Republicans opposed, to increase the number of days and hours that early voting centers will remain open.

The bill would increase the number of early voting days from six to eight starting in 2014. The hours of voting would be longer in presidential election years.

O'Malley's proposal follows a presidential election that saw voters waiting in line for hours at the limited number of early voting sites in each county.

It would also increase the number of voting centers in the state's largest jurisdictions -- Montgomery, Prince George's and Baltimore counties -- from five to eight and permit same-day registration and voting at the centers. Frederick County, which now has a single site, would expand to three.

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