BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP)— Voters will head to the polls today to decide whether Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump will win Maryland’s 10 electoral votes, and they’ll also pick the replacement for one of the state’s most popular politicians: Barbara Mikulski, who is retiring after 30 years in the U.S. Senate.
Here’s what you need to know before you head to the polls:
Are you eligible to vote Maryland?
To register to vote, you must be:
- A U.S. citizen;
- A Maryland resident; and
- At least 16 years old*
*You may register to vote if you are at least 16 years old but cannot vote unless you will be at least 18 years old by the next general election.
* The deadline to register was on October 18,2016.
When are the polls open?
On Election Day, polling places are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Anyone in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
Where can I vote?
If you do not know where your polling place is, CLICK HERE to look it up.
If you moved and have not updated your voter registration information,enter your new address in the Polling Place Locator.
How will I cast my vote?
During Election Day, you will hand mark a paper ballot. Use the pen provided to fill in the oval next to your choices. Review your ballot choices, place your voted ballot into the privacy sleeve and take it to the scanner. An election worker will direct you to insert your ballot into the scanning unit to cast your vote. Your ballot will be scanned and dropped into a secure ballot box.
You may ask an election judge to explain how to vote, but you must cast your vote alone, unless you are unable to do so because you have a disability or are unable to read or write the English language.
What is the new voting system in Maryland?
Maryland’s new voting system is a voter-verifiable paper based solution. Voters will mark a paper ballot and then feed the ballot into a ballot scanner. The ballot scanner will read and count the voter’s selections and the ballot will drop into a locked ballot box. When voting ends, the system produces a total report of each vote from the paper ballots.
How does the ballot scanner work?
The ballot scanner uses digital-image technology to identify voter selections. When you mark a paper ballot by hand, the scanner looks for marks inside of the ovals. If you make other marks (check marks or underlines) outside the ovals, the scanner lets you know that you need to correct the ballot. You can let the scanner accept the ballot as-is or ask the scanner to return the ballot and make corrections on a new ballot.
The new system also lets voters know if they selected too many choices on the ballot.
When a ballot with an overvote is scanned, the scanner lets you know that you need to correct the ballot. You can let the scanner accept the ballot – and votes for all contests or questions except the overvoted contest or question will count – or ask the scanner to return the ballot to you. If you want to correct the ballot, an election judge will give you another ballot.
Has the new voting system been tested?
The entire system was thoroughly tested and certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. State and local election officials have tested each device that will be used in Maryland, and the local boards will conduct pre-election testing on all equipment being used in the 2016 elections.
Is the new voting system secure?
According to the State Board of Elections, Maryland’s new voting system produces a voter-verifiable paper record – a “paper trail” – of each voter’s selections. Election officials can compare the ballots marked by voters against the results generated by the ballot scanners to accurately confirm the intention of the voters. All paper ballots will be stored by the local board of elections and available for auditing and recounting purposes.
It’s time to vote!
Once you know you assigned polling location, what time it’s open, and whether you’re registered to vote, you’re ready to head to the polls!
Before you walk out the door, make sure you have proper identification.
If you’ve voted in Maryland before, you don’t need to provide ID to vote in person
If you’re voting for the first time in Maryland; submitted your registration by mail; and didn’t provide a copy your Maryland driver’s license, state ID card, or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows your name and address when you registered, you may need to show one of these documents to vote.
*Information provided by the Maryland Board of Elections.