BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Early voting starts this week.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports having the option to vote outside the time frame of Election Day appears to be catching on.

You’ve heard the voices on the campaign trail and now it’s time for the voters to have their say. The question is, will early voting be an indicator of a Primary Day turnout? Even campaign veterans were surprised by the 2012 early voting turnout.

“I didn’t expect this many people,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings.

But whether the turnout that prompted last year’s expansion of early voting is seen this year is entirely up to the voters.

“No, we’re not doing early voting,” said one person.

But others–like Maria Hampton–have already made it a regular practice.

“Sometimes the day just gets so hectic and the time runs away from you and it’s time to vote and you’re so far from the poll, you know you’re not going to make it,” Hampton said.

Early voting starts this week on Thursday and ends on June 19. The hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are locations in each county and Baltimore City.

“And all the voters in Maryland get what we call a specimen ballot, sample ballot. They should read this and if they don’t know a candidate, it gives them some time to do some research,” said Linda Lamone, Maryland Board of Elections director.

Lamone is expecting a 30 percent turnout, one of the higher predictions given that the primary has moved up to June from the fall.

“The statewide candidates are running a fairly aggressive campaign. There are several counties with very active contests going,” Lamone said.

You can vote at any early voting center in the city or county where you live.

Voters may still request absentee ballots.

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