Maryland votes: Here's what to expect at your polling place on Election Day

If you plan to vote Tuesday on Election Day in Maryland, here’s what to expect:

What are the polling place hours?

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Lines often form in the morning, dwindle during the middle of the day, then surge again after people leave work.


Where can I vote?

You can find polling place information in Baltimore and Maryland’s 23 counties here.

What are Baltimore organizations and individuals doing to help get voters to the polls between early voting and Election Day? The initiatives range from driving voters to polling places to catering hot meals at registration sites and block parties.

How can I make sure I’m registered?

You can verify whether you are registered here.


Can I register at my polling place?

No. You have to have registered already.

There is a question on the ballot that would allow same-day registration on future election days.

Will I need ID?

Generally speaking, no. Some people who are voting for the first time in Maryland will be asked to show identification. Valid forms of ID include a state-issued driver’s license or ID card; a change-of-address card; your paycheck, bank statement or utility bill, or another government document with your name and current address.

What if I’ve moved?

If you have not updated your voter registration information, enter your new address in the Polling Place Locator. You will be required to vote a provisional ballot at the new polling place.


What is a provisional vote?

A provisional ballot allows someone who thinks he or she is an eligible voter to vote. If a local board of elections determines the provisional voter is registered and eligible to vote in Maryland, the ballot will be counted. If the voter is not eligible to vote a provisional ballot, the ballot may be set aside and not tabulated. Most provisional ballots are counted.

Who can vote?

As of Oct. 20, there were 3,954,027 eligible, active voters on the rolls for this election in Maryland. Another 3,733 people registered during the eight-day early voting period from Oct. 25 to Nov. 1.

Registered voters are eligible to vote unless they have voted early or cast an absentee ballot.

Can I bring my children with me?

You can bring one or two children under 18 with you to vote. The children can accompany you as long as they do not disrupt or interfere with voting.

Maryland’s eight-day early voting period wrapped up with a record number of voters casting ballots in person before Election Day. The election will determine whether GOP Gov. Larry Hogan or his Democratic challenger, Ben Jealous, will take an oath of office for a four-year term in January.

Who — and what — is on the ballot?

There are hundreds of candidates across Maryland for a variety of offices. The statewide races are for governor, attorney general and the U.S. Senate. There are also two statewide ballot questions. Other races include Maryland’s eight U.S. House seats, the General Assembly seats and county offices. Baltimore City chooses its mayor and City Council in presidential election years.

How will I cast a vote?

In most cases, you mark a paper ballot by hand, using a pen provided to fill in ovals next to your choices. Check the ballot over, looking at all sides. Place your ballot in a privacy sleeve or folder and take it to a scanner. An election worker will talk you through inserting your ballot into the scanner to record your vote.

Can I write in a candidate not on the ballot?

Yes. Instructions on how to cast a write-in vote are posted at each polling place.

Can I ask for help inside the polling place?

Yes. You can bring someone to help you vote, as long as that person is not your employer or an agent of your employer, an officer or agent of your union, or a challenger or poll watcher. You can also ask for help from two election judges. Any person helping a voter must sign a Voter Assistance Form and can’t suggest who or what to vote for.

When will I know the winners?

Early voting results are typically posted shortly after the polls close at 8 p.m.

After that, the counties will report their Election Day totals to the State Board of Election.

The outcomes of most races should be clear by 11 p.m.

Tighter races can take more than a week to be decided, if they come down to absentee and provisional votes. Exact results won’t be known until local boards certify the vote totals Nov. 16.

What do I do if I have a concern about election security? Or anything else?

If you see a problem or a potential violation at your polling place, you can report it to your local board of election. The State Board of Elections offers detailed information about the state’s voting security systems here. The board also offers a rumor control page. You can also call the state board at 800-222-8683. If you believe your voting rights have been violated, you can can call the U.S. Department of Justice hotline at 800-253-3931.