Maryland primary election: What you need to know before you vote

Tuesday is Primary Election Day. Here’s a few key things you should know before you go to the polls, gleaned from the Maryland Board of Elections website.

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  • First, are you registered to vote? The deadline to register was June 5. This link can tell you if you are registered. If not, you’ll have to wait until the November general election. The deadline is Oct. 16.
  • If you don't know where to vote, enter your address at the state’s website and you can find your polling location.
  • If you’re a parent, you can bring up to two children younger than 18 with you to vote — just so long as they do not disrupt or interfere with normal voting procedures. Speaking of disruptions: you are not allowed to use your cellphone, pager, camera or computer equipment in a polling place.
  • You can vote in a primary election even if you’re not registered as either a Democrat or Republican. But you can only vote in nonpartisan races such as for Baltimore County school board.
  • If you want to get familiar with the ballot you’ll be handed when you enter the voting booth, read these samples before you go: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County. You can bring the ballot with you to help you complete the real thing. Got any questions? Hopefully The Baltimore Sun’s Voter Guide can help you.
  • If your boss asks you to prove that you voted beyond that little sticker, make sure you obtain a “Certificate of Participation” from an election judge before you leave your polling place.
  • If you’re asked for identification, here’s what’s acceptable: a current, valid photo ID such as a driver’s license, MVA ID card, passport, student ID, military card or employee badge. State and federal government ID cards work, too. So does a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address. What does current mean? Within 3 months of the election.
  • If you don’t have the required identification, you should request a provisional ballot. It will be counted if election officials can verify you are properly registered. If you are one of the nearly 80,000 voters whose recent requests to change an address or party affiliation was not processed by the state, go to the polling place for your new address and vote by provisional ballot. Here’s more information on what provisional ballots are.
  • Be aware of last-minute changes to your voting location. Because of a power outage, Baltimore County voters who usually cast their ballots at the Essex Co-Op Community Center should instead go to Eastern Technical High School Gym at 1100 Mace Ave. And city voters who usually vote at 931 Armistead Way should instead go to Armistead Gardens Elementary School at 5001 E. Eager St.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the ability of voters to participate in the primary election if they are not registered to either the Democratic or Republican parties. The Sun regrets the error.

mdresser@baltsun.com

twitter.com/michaeltdresser


UPDATES:

7:00 p.m., June 25: This article was updated to reflect an updated number of affected voters who must now vote with a provisional ballot.

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