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Maryland approves 17 in-person voting centers in Howard County for November election

The Maryland State Board of Elections on Friday approved Howard County’s list of in-person voting centers for the Nov. 3 general election.

Howard County will have 17 voting centers situated throughout the county on Election Day. Unlike in past years, voters will be able cast their ballots from any center in the county, rather than being required to vote at a specific polling location.

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The voting centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 3:

  • Atholton High School, 6520 Freetown Road, Columbia — cafeteria and gym
  • Centennial High School, 4300 Centennial Lane, Ellicott City — cafeteria and gym
  • Elkridge Landing Middle School, 7085 Montgomery Road, Elkridge — cafeteria and gym
  • Glenelg High School, 14025 Burntwoods Road, Glenelg — cafeteria and gym
  • Hammond High School, 8800 Guilford Road, Columbia — gym
  • Howard High School, 8700 Old Annapolis Road, Ellicott City — gym and auxiliary gym
  • Laurel Woods Elementary School, 9250 North Laurel Road, Laurel — gym and gym 2
  • Lisbon Elementary School, 15901 Frederick Road, Woodbine — cafeteria and gym
  • Long Reach High School, 6101 Old Dobbin Lane, Columbia — gym and auxiliary gym
  • Marriotts Ridge High School, 12100 Woodford Drive, Marriottsville — gym and auxiliary gym
  • Meadowbrook Athletic Complex, 5001 Meadowbrook Lane, Ellicott City — multi-purpose room
  • Mt. Hebron High School, 9440 Old Frederick Road, Ellicott City — cafeteria and gym
  • Oakland Mills High School, 9410 Kilimanjaro Road, Columbia — cym and auxiliary gym
  • Patuxent Valley Middle School, 9151 Vollmerhausen Road, Savage — cafeteria and gym
  • Reservoir High School, 11550 Scaggsville Road, Fulton — gym and auxiliary gym
  • River Hill High School, 12101 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville — cafeteria
  • Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia — cafeteria and gym

Howard County normally has 90 polling locations. In July, Howard County Board of Elections Director Guy Mickley proposed reducing that number to 35 due to a shortage of poll workers caused by fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. About two weeks later, however, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan approved a plan to offer just 360 voting centers across Maryland, including the 17 in Howard County, for the November election.

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During Friday’s meeting, Mickley confirmed that Howard County would have enough poll workers on Election Day.

“We’re doing just fine [with election judges],” he said.

Howard County voters can also cast ballots early at five locations. The early voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2:

  • Long Reach High School — gym and auxiliary gym
  • Marriotts Ridge High School — gym and auxiliary gym
  • Meadowbrook Athletic Complex — multi-purpose room
  • Reservoir High School — gym and auxiliary gym
  • Wilde Lake High School — cafeteria and gym

In addition to voting early and in-person on Nov. 3, voters are also able to vote by mail. Maryland is not repeating its system from the June primary and mailing every eligible resident a ballot. Instead, every voter should be mailed an application for a mail ballot. The state elections board said Friday that ballot request forms are currently in the mail to 4 million Maryland voters and are expected to arrive over the weekend.

The primary election in June was Maryland’s first vote-by-mail statewide election due to the coronavirus pandemic, and nearly 42% of Howard County voters returned their ballots to be counted. The state sent more than 205,000 ballots, while more than 84,000 were returned. The percentage, after adding the nearly 1,500 residents who voted in person on June 2, was near the 44% of voters who participated in the 2016 primary election.

If a voter doesn’t receive a ballot request form, the deadline to request one must be received by Oct. 20. To request a mail ballot, voters can visit the Howard County elections website.

Mailed ballots will include prepaid postage to return it. Voters can either mail it back to the elections office or place it in a ballot drop box. There will be about 270 boxes around the state, half of which will be installed by Sept. 28, according to Nikki Charlson, the state’s deputy administrator of elections. There will be nine drop-off locations in Howard County, Mickley said.

The drop box locations for mail ballots in Howard County are:

  • Elkridge Landing Middle School
  • Howard County Board of Elections office, 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 200, Columbia
  • Laurel Woods Elementary School
  • Lisbon Elementary School
  • Long Reach High School
  • Marriotts Ridge High School
  • Meadowbrook Athletic Complex
  • Reservoir High School
  • Wilde Lake High School

Mickley said the dates for when the drop-off boxes will be installed and available to accept ballots have yet to be determined.

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