By Kimberly Eiten

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The polls are open across Maryland as early voters begin to cast their ballots ahead of election day.

For the next week, 79 locations across the state will open their doors, including seven polling sites in Baltimore City, and at least one in each county.

Already long lines of voters waited Thursday to make their voices heard.

“We’re excited. There’s a crowd here at the league, and we’re expecting that all around the city,” said Armstead Jones, elections director.

In Anne Arundel County, one of those locations, at Crofton Area Library shut down Thursday afternoon because of a suspicious package outside.

Suspicious Package Temporarily Closes Maryland Early Voting Location

This moved ballot boxes temporarily.

Even so, polling places could see heavy turnout in the next week as Marylanders choose high profile races ahead of election day.

Including the state’s top office.

Where Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic candidate Ben Jealous are in a hard-fought race.

Several congressional and county executive seats are also on the ballot.

“Things are going well. All sites opened on time. Seven sites around Baltimore City,” said Armstead Jones, Baltimore City Board of Elections. “We’re excited. There’s a crowd here at the league, and we’re expecting that all around the city.”

Voters are eager to cast their ballots.

“The process was easy. A two-year-old child could do it, as long as he knows who he’s voting for,” said Charles Edward Werrell, a voter at the polls Thursday.

Jones, Baltimore’s elections director, recommends just that. He said early voters should do their homework.

“Take time and look at their sample ballot to make sure that they’ve marked that ballot,” Jones said.

In Baltimore, locations are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can register and vote at the same time during early voting if you bring proof of address, but this will not be available on election day.

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Kimberly Eiten