Anne Arundel County voters can begin casting their votes for president, Congressional representatives, charter amendments, and depending on their district, school board members as early as Thursday, when 18 ballot drop boxes open.
The first wave of absentee ballots have been mailed to voters who requested them. The ballots should arrive by early next week, officials said.
The drop boxes are part of an initiative by County Executive Steuart Pittman’s administration, the Department of Health and the Board of Elections to provide residents with as many options as possible to vote safely amid the coronavirus pandemic. Voters can chose to send their ballot back by mail, drop it off at a dropbox, vote early at one of 31 voting centers, or vote in-person on election day.
“There are a lot of people working very hard to make sure the system functions and that you can trust the results,” said David Garreis, deputy director of the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections.
The other 14 drop boxes will be delivered and available to accept ballots by Oct. 18. They will sit outside all the voting centers in the county, and the Board of Elections office in Glen Burnie, and will be monitored at all hours by security cameras, Garreis said. Ballots will be retrieved twice a day by a bipartisan pair of elections workers, he said. Canvassing begins Oct. 1.
All the canvassing will be livestreamed on the county youtube channel, including the pair of bipartisan judges checking for signatures and timeliness, and on the machine that counts the ballots, Garreis said.
Garreis said the first release of preliminary results will be delivered after 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Anne Arundel County is required to certify results by the state deadline of Nov. 13, which Director Joe Torre has said he intends to meet.
County election staff expect about 85% of registered voters to turn out for the general election, or about 337,500 people. About 72% of county registered voters cast ballots in the 2016 election, according to state election data. At least 121,342 Anne Arundel residents had requested an absentee ballot as of Friday morning, Garreis said.
Early voting in Anne Arundel County runs from Oct. 26. through Nov. 2 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at several voting centers. All 31 voting centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.
In order to make sure your ballot is counted, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3, in a drop box by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, or cast at one of the county’s voting centers during the early voting week or on election day.
Ballot drop boxes opening Thursday:
- Annapolis High School (2700 Riva Road Annapolis, MD 21401)
- Anne Arundel County Board of Elections (6740 Baymeadow Drive Glen Burnie, MD 21060)
- Broadneck High School (1265 Green Holly Drive Annapolis, MD 21409)
- Brock Bridge Elementary School (405 Brock Bridge Road Laurel, MD 20724)
- Chesapeake High School (4798 Mountain Road Pasadena, MD 21122)
- Crofton Middle School (2301 Davidsonville Road Gambrills, MD 21054)
- Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Hall (161 Ritchie Highway Severna Park, MD 21146)
- Glen Burnie High School (7550 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd Glen Burnie, MD 21060)
- Pip Moyer Recreation Center (273 Hilltop Lane Annapolis, MD 21403)
- South River High School (201 Central Avenue East Edgewater, MD 21037)
- Arundel High School (1001 Annapolis Road Gambrills, MD 21054)
- Meade High School (1100 Clark Road Ft. Meade, MD 20755)
- North County High School (10 East 1st Avenue Glen Burnie, MD 21061)
- Northeast High School (1121 Duvall Highway Pasadena, MD 21122)
- Old Mill High School (600 Patriot Lane Millersville, MD 21108)
- Severna Park High School (60 Robinson Road Severna Park, MD 21146)
- Southern High School (4400 Solomons Island Road Harwood, MD 20776)
- Van Bokkelen Elementary School (1140 Reece Road Severn, MD 21144)
Ballot drop boxes opening Oct. 18:
- Arnold Elementary School 95 E Joyce Lane Arnold, MD 21012
- Bates Middle School 701 Chase Street Annapolis, MD 21401
- Brooklyn Park Middle School 200 Hammonds Lane Brooklyn Park, MD 21225
- Chesapeake Science Point Charter School 7321 Pkwy Drive S Hanover, MD 21076
- Corkran Middle School 7600 Quarterfield Road Glen Burnie, MD 21061
- Crofton Elementary School 1405 Duke of Kent Drive Crofton, MD 21114
- Heritage Community Church 8146 Quarterfield Road Severn, MD 21144
- Lindale Middle School 415 Andover Road Linthicum, MD 21090
- Magothy River Middle School 241 Peninsula Farm Road #1052 Arnold, MD 21012
- Marley Middle School 10 Davis Court Glen Burnie, MD 21060
- Millersville Elementary School 1601 Millersville Road Millersville, MD 21108
- Rolling Knolls Elementary School 1985 Valley Road Annapolis, MD 21401
- Solley Elementary School 7608 Solley Road Glen Burnie, MD 21060
- Southern Middle School 5235 Solomons Island Road Lothian, MD 20711
Residents can text “VOTE” or “VOTA” to 77788 to be sent a link to register to vote online. The deadline to register to vote in Maryland is Oct. 13, but there are also options for same-day registration at the polls during early voting and election day with the correct identification and materials.
Residents who are already registered to vote and would like to request an absentee ballot can text “VBM” or “VPC” to be sent a link to the online request form.
More information about voting can be found at aacounty.org/vote.