2021 Annapolis election: Registering to vote, who’s running, when ballots will be mailed and more

Annapolis will hold its 2021 general election on Nov. 2 where voters will choose a mayor and eight City Council members.

Some things will be different this year, including a new voting system in which ballots will be mailed to voters in contested primary elections and all registered voters for the general election. The number of polling locations will also change and include dropboxes where voters can safely return their ballots.


Who is running and why? When will I receive a ballot in the mail? When will my vote be counted? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Annapolis election.

When is the election?

The general election will be held on Nov. 2. Polling places will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Enter your home address here to find out what ward you live in:

Use that ward to find the correct polling place listed here:

Who is running?

Democratic Mayor Gavin Buckley is seeking a second term. He will face Republican Steve Strawn, the former Annapolis Republican Central Committee chair, in the general election.

Seven of eight current City Council members, all Democrats, are running for reelection. Three will face Republicans in the general election.

In Ward 1, Elly Tierney is running unopposed.

In Ward 3, Rhonda Pindell-Charles is running unopposed.

In Ward 4, Sheila Finlayson is running unopposed.

In Ward 5, Brooks Schandelmeier will face Monica Manthey.


In Ward 6, DaJuan Gay will face George Gallagher.

In Ward 7, Rob Savidge is running unopposed.

In Ward 8, Ross Arnett is running against Rock Toews.

In Ward 2, Democrat Karma O’Neill and Republican Scott Gibson have earned their parties nominations and will face off in the general.

Sixteen candidates have filed to run for Annapolis Democratic and Republican central committee seats. None of the seats are contested, so each is automatically elected to their positions.

What happened in the primary election?

Three Democratic incumbents won their contested primary elections on Sept. 21.


In Ward 3, Pindell-Charles defeated Keanuú Smith-Brown.

In Ward 4, Finlayson defeated Toni Strong Pratt. A ballot recount requested by Strong Pratt confirmed Finlayson’s five-vote victory.

In Ward 8, Arnett beat Kati George.

How much have candidates raised for their campaigns?

The first campaign finance reports submitted Aug. 24 showed Ward 5 Alderman Brooks Schandelmeier had raised nearly $35,000 in donations, the most among all City Council candidates, while all but one Republican candidate have lagged behind in fundraising.

Scott T. Gibson, a Republican from Ward 2, pulled in about $21,000. The third-largest war chest is held by Democratic Ward 3 candidate Keanuú Smith-Brown who raised $17,579.48.

The fourth reporting deadline is Oct. 26 at 4:30 p.m. The Annapolis City Clerk’s office is expected to post each candidate’s report sometime after that deadline.


If I haven’t yet registered to vote, am I too late?

Yes, the last day to register for the Annapolis general election was Oct. 4.

How can I vote in the election?

Under a new voting system approved this spring and upheld by a recent Anne Arundel Circuit Court decision, ballots will be mailed to all registered voters for the Nov. 2 general election.

Mailed ballots can either be returned by mail, dropped at ANY of the eight ballot drop boxes or handed in at a polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Drop boxes will be open on or around Oct. 8 until general Election Day. Ballots that are mailed back with a postmark of Election Day or before will also be counted.

In-person voting will be held on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is one polling place per ward. Find your polling place here:

If I am not a registered Democrat or Republican can I vote in the Nov. 2 election?

Yes. Registered voters from any party or who are unaffiliated can cast a ballot in the Nov. 2 general election.

When will I get my ballot?

Ballots for the general election were mailed around Oct. 8.


If a voter does not receive a ballot in the mail they should contact the election board.

I won’t be at my address when my ballot arrives, how do I vote?

You can request to have your mailed ballot sent to a different address.

Use this form:

In an emergency, voters can request an emergency mail-in ballot with this form:

Do I have to pay for the postage if I mail my ballot back?

No. The City of Annapolis is paying for the postage.

When will my ballot be counted?

Ballots cast on Election Day will be counted the same day and posted to the city’s website.


Ballots returned by Oct. 28 will be counted when canvassing begins on Nov. 3, the day after Election Day. Ballots received after Oct. 28 will be canvassed on Nov. 9.

The canvasses will be conducted at 10 a.m. at the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections Office located in Glen Burnie.

In order for mail-in ballots to be counted, they must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service by Election Day, placed in ANY of the eight ballot drop boxes or handed in to a polling place by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

When will I know who won?

It’s hard to say. Votes cast in-person on Election Day will be counted and published on and the city website at when they become available.

Election officials have said canvassing of mailed ballots will last as long as required.

Depending on how close some races are, a winner could be determined if the gap between candidates is greater than the remaining mail-in or provision ballots. For close races it might take until Nov. 9, the second canvass day, to determine a winner.


The election is not certified until after all canvassing is completed.

How do I become an election judge?

To be an Annapolis election judge, you must be a registered Maryland voter, able to read, write and speak English. Those interested should submit an election judge application using this form:

Who is overseeing the Annapolis elections?

The Annapolis Board of Supervisors of Elections, a three-person appointed board oversees the elections. The members are Democrats Eileen Leahy, chair, and Briayna Cuffie. The newest member, Republican Rebecca Brenia, was sworn in Aug. 16.

The city elections board will be assisted in running the elections by the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections, a state agency under the Maryland Board of Elections, which provides voting machines and other infrastructure.

Anyone with questions about the election process can call a dedicated elections phone number at 410-263-7929 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you have a question that isn’t answered in this FAQ, please email and we will try to get it answered for you.