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Politics

Here’s what you need to know in Maryland about returning your mail-in ballot and voting on Election Day

Voters can cast their ballot in person Tuesday or return their mail-in ballots to drop boxes through Election Day. Early voting ended Thursday.

Maryland is offering a hybrid election format this fall like what voters saw for the July primary. Polls will be open 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Election Day — Tuesday — and were open during a since-closed early voting window. You can find your polling place for Election Day using the state’s voter lookup tool here.

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Important races for governor, attorney general, comptroller and U.S. Senate will be decided. So will numerous state legislative and local contests.

Here’s everything you need to know to cast your ballot.

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Where can I find my polling place to vote on Election Day?

For voting on Election Day, state officials recommend that all voters confirm their current district and polling place information online before Tuesday by using the state’s voter lookup tool here or by calling or visiting their local board of elections. A list of local election board contact information can be found here.

To see the names of the federal and state elected officials who represent you, the state offers a search tool here.

What’s the voter registration deadline?

The deadline to register in advance to vote ended Oct. 18, but Marylanders can still take advantage of same-day registration.

Voters can go to their assigned Election Day polling place. Bring a document that proves where you live, such as a Maryland-issued license or paycheck, bank statement or utility bill with your name and address.

Where can I return my ballot?

The deadline to request a ballot by mail has expired.

Voters who requested an online ballot must print and return those as a mail-in ballot.

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Mail-in ballots must be postmarked or placed in a designated ballot drop box by 8 p.m. Tuesday. Ballot drop boxes will be open 24 hours a day and are monitored by surveillance.

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Drop boxes were distributed statewide and will remain in place through Election Day. A list of ballot drop box locations is available on the State Board of Elections website here or on the map below.

Mail-in ballots should be completed in blue or black ink. Voters need to sign the return envelope where prompted, not the ballot. A postage-paid return envelope is included with mail-in ballots. Recipients of emailed ballots must provide their own envelope and postage.

When will we have results?

It depends how many voters cast mail-in ballots, but results should be faster this fall than they were in July.

A recent court decision cleared the way for local election boards to begin counting mail-in ballots in advance of the election. Early counting has been legal to do since Oct. 1, but most local election boards plan to start later this month after more mail-in ballots have been received. The votes from those ballots will not be revealed until Election Day after polls have closed.

An appeal challenging early counting filed by Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox remains active in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, but the court struck down Cox’s request for an emergency stay to halt ballot counting.

Voters already have signaled they plan to participate in higher numbers using mail-in ballots this fall. As of Oct. 4, 539,291 voters had requested mail-in ballots, compared with 508,000 during the primary election.


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