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Orioles announce that Camden Yards will serve as a voting center in November

This is Dempsey's Brew Pub & Restaurant at Camden Yards
This is Dempsey's Brew Pub & Restaurant at Camden Yards (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun photo)

The Orioles announced Wednesday they will open Camden Yards in November for use as a voting center.

The team said in a news release that it is finalizing a deal with the Baltimore City Board of Elections for the use of stadium space on Election Day. As part of the team’s Voter Up campaign — and a broader Major League Baseball effort — the Orioles also will encourage voter engagement this fall and advertise key election dates to help Marylanders exercise their right to vote, the team said.

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“In these challenging times, the Orioles are proud to join Major League Baseball and the Commissioner’s effort to use league-wide platforms to contribute to the public welfare and the preservation and celebration of our American spirit and system of democracy,” said John Angelos, executive vice president/chief operations officer.

Maryland officials have been adapting plans for the November election to minimize exposure to the coronavirus that has disrupted life across the country. Election officials are preparing to offer in-person voting as well as encouraging state residents to request ballots to vote by mail.

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Camden Yards voting will be held inside Dempsey’s Brew Pub and Restaurant on the Howard Street side of the stadium, according to the city election board. The Orioles will give the club’s full-time staff a paid day off for Election Day, and staff will be encouraged to volunteer as election judges, the Orioles announced Wednesday.

Discussions about using Camden Yards as a polling place on Election Day have been ongoing since late last month when city elections director Armstead Jones said he was touring the facility. Last week, the State Board of Elections approved the stadium as a location for early voting and as an Election Day voting center, although Jones was coy about whether the deal had been finalized.

Jones said last month that the facility is attractive because it is accessible via light rail and has ample parking as well as space to ensure voters can socially distance.

Plans for Maryland’s November election include 24 Election Day voting centers in Baltimore as well as eight early voting centers. Voters also are being encouraged to participate via mail-in ballots which either can be mailed back or placed in ballot drop boxes that will be installed in the next couple of weeks across the state.

Many local governments are planning to use stadiums for voting. Nationals Park will open for Washington, D.C., voters in November, and Maryland officials recently announced that FedEx Field, home of the Washington Football Team, also will serve as a voting center. The University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center in Prince George’s County also will be used as a voting center.

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