Another day of voting. Another record falls.
More than 78,000 Anne Arundel County voters cast ballots at early voting sites this week, surpassing the previous record in less than five full days.
With three days left, the Board of Elections is calling on voters to visit the polls, hoping to surpass 100,000 early voters by Monday evening.
“Getting to 100,000 early voters would be a fantastic bench mark for the county,” said David Garreis, deputy election director. “It would be great to see that much participation.”
The record was set in 2016 when 76,183 voters turned out. The final three days of early voting during the last presidential election were the busiest, with the previous single-day record being set on the final day. That record was crushed on Monday by 6,000 votes when more than 17,000 residents voted, according to county election data.
Anne Arundel joins counties and states across the country, shattering voting records.
Early voting ends Monday at 8 p.m. Anyone in line to vote by 8 p.m. will be able to do so.
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Including mail-in ballots received as of Friday afternoon, roughly 200,000 Anne Arundel residents have cast their votes, Garreis said. The historic turnout is in line with what local election officials have long expected.
Voters who returned their ballots before Oct. 26 have been counted, and mail-in ballots returned after Oct. 26 should be listed online as “received.” Mail-in ballots submitted after Oct. 26 will be counted starting Nov. 4, Garreis said.
With nearly 200,000 ballots received, Anne Arundel approaches 50% of voter turnout with four full days left to vote in person, or return a mail-in ballot by drop box. State election officials have encouraged people who have not mailed their ballots to drop them off at drop boxes or in person since it is so close to Election Day. By 8 p.m. on Election Day, Garreis and Election Director Joe Torre expect that roughly 82% of the 409,000 registered voters in the county will have returned their ballots.
Early voting and drop boxes
Voters who received a mail-in ballot, but haven’t returned it yet, can drop it in any of the 32 secure drop boxes in the county. All the early voting centers are equipped with drop boxes, so voters don’t have to wait in line to submit a mail-in ballot. The boxes are open 24 hours, emptied twice a day by bipartisan pairs of election judges and are monitored around the clock by security cameras.
Drop boxes and polling places will be open until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Every voter in line to vote or drop off their ballot will be allowed to do so as long as they are in line by 8 p.m. Residents who wish to mail their ballots must have them postmarked by Nov. 3.
Early voting will run from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Nov. 2, including Saturday and Sunday.
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