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Campaign 2020

The Dripby Ian Round7:10 pmOct 26, 20200

What you need to know as early voting begins

Not to worry if you missed the online voter registration deadline. Maryland lets you register in person

Maryland’s in-person voting centers are now open, and eager voters lined up before polls opened today in a format changed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

If you missed the deadline to register to vote online, or if you forgot to apply for a mail-in ballot, you can still vote between now and November 3.

Maryland is one of 21 states that allow voters to register on the day they vote.

But you’ll have to show identification in order to register. According to Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, the acceptable forms of ID are the following:

• Driver’s license or other ID issued by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

• Other government-issued ID, such as a passport.

• Student or employee ID with a photo.

• A utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check, showing your name and address, that is less than three months old.

Even if you don’t have an ID with you when you go to a voting center, officials are still required to give you a provisional ballot. You’ll still have to prove you are who you say you are, but you have time.

You can submit proof of identification to your local election board by 10 a.m. on November 12. Your vote won’t count if you can’t prove your residency.

A voter’s guide to this high-anxiety election (10/12/20)

Voting Centers

Election officials reduced the number of voting centers due to a shortage of poll workers.

Voters are not required to go to a specific voting center. As long as you go to one in the jurisdiction where you live, officials will have the right ballot for you.

These voting centers are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. All early voting centers will also be open on November 3, Election Day.

You can bring a ballot to the post office or a drop box, but you can’t bring it with you into a voting center. Election officials will give you a ballot in the building.

Here are maps of voting centers for Baltimore City and Baltimore County:

Early and Election Day voting centers in city

Early and Election Day voting centers in county

Election Security

With President Donald Trump and his allies seeking to sow doubt in the election process, some Maryland officials are attempting to set the record straight.

“Simply put, Maryland’s election systems are secure, have built-in redundancies, and have been subject to security testing,” states a rumor control section of the Maryland Board of Elections site.

The statement continues:

“We are now using a paper-based voting system. This means that there is a paper record of every vote cast, and these ballots can be retabulated if needed. The voting equipment is never connected to the Internet. The network used to generate official election results is never connected to the Internet.”

Likewise, Frosh sought to reassure voters that voter intimidation and harassment are illegal, while reassuring skeptical observers of the transparency of the election process.

“Anyone attempting to violate these laws will be held accountable and prosecuted,” he stated.

Local election boards are already counting ballots, but the results are embargoed until after polls close on election night. According to one account, about half of Marylanders intend to vote by mail.

• To reach this reporter: ianpground@gmail.com

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