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Maryland residents can register to vote on Election Day for the first time in Tuesday’s special primary

From left, Joshua Ramos, Tabitha Lipinski, Michael Thompson and Ivan McAfee program electronic pollbooks in preparation for the Feb. 4 special primary for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings' 7th district seat.
From left, Joshua Ramos, Tabitha Lipinski, Michael Thompson and Ivan McAfee program electronic pollbooks in preparation for the Feb. 4 special primary for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings' 7th district seat.(Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Maryland residents who live in the 7th Congressional District will be able to register and vote on the same day for the first time Tuesday, the state board of elections said.

Tuesday’s special primary will help decide who serves the remainder of the two-year term of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died Oct. 17. It’s the first time an election has been held since Maryland joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia that have same-day voter registration.

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Residents have been able to register, or change their address, and cast a ballot the same day during early voting since 2016. But in 2018, voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow people to sign up and cast ballots on Election Day itself.

The process operates largely the same as it does during early voting, the election board said.

Eligible 7th Congressional district residents must bring a document proving their residency to their correct polling place. Eligible documents include a Maryland driver’s license, paycheck, bank statement, utility bill or other government document with individual’s name and current address.

Residents who already are registered to vote will not be able to change their address, party or name on election day. Maryland is a closed primary state, so only registered Democrats and Republicans can cast ballots.

The 315 polling places in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters can double-check their registration status use and figure out where to vote through tools on the election board’s website.

Find out more about the 32 candidates in the race by checking out The Baltimore Sun’s voter guide.

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