By Amy Kawata

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Just under one million Marylanders cast their ballots during the state’s eight-day early in-person voting ahead of Tuesday’s election, the state’s elections board said.

On the eighth and final day of early voting, 140,362 Marylanders voted, though that figure also includes provisional votes and will be slightly lower once those are removed, a spokesperson said.

Before Monday, around 853,000 Marylanders had cast their ballots during early in-person voting, while 1.6 million Marylanders requested mail-in ballots. Of those, 1.3 million have been returned.

Among Monday’s early voters was Rep. Kweisi Mfume. His opponent Kimberly Klacik tweeted over the weekend she also voted early.

In Baltimore, the city’s elections board tweeted 11,852 residents had cast their ballots on Monday. Over the eight-day early voting period, the city saw 70,534 ballots cast.

“I think each day we’ve had a decent crowd at all of our sites. Morgan State has been the top site all week,” Armstead Jones, the city’s elections director, said.

Two hours before polls closed on Monday, dozens of people stood in line at Towson University to cast their ballots. The wait time was reportedly as long as two hours.

Those lines continued up to closing time. All voters who are in line by 8 p.m. were allowed to vote.

Voters WJZ spoke with on Monday gave a number of reasons for voting early.

Ted Street felt more comfortable voting in person rather than leaving it up to the postal service, which has reported mail delays.

“I prefer to do things personally hands-on. To mail it, anything can happen,” he said.

William Reason cited procrastination as a factor that led him to vote in person.

“I was going to mail in and then I waited too late and then I said let me go and do it today,” he said.

For Isabel Thomas, it was the threat of long lines on Election Day as well.

“With lines predicted to be even longer tomorrow, it’s just like get it out of the way, get it done,” she said.

Raquel Morton and Michael Mckelvy said it was the safest and quickest choice.

“Mostly just to get it done and make sure it’s done correctly,” Morton said.

“I wasn’t comfortable mailing it in or putting it in a drop box,” Mckelvy added.

VOTING RESOURCES:

Maryland election officials said that anyone voting in person will need to wear a mask unless they have a medical condition or disability where a mask would impede communication.

Eligible voters can cast their ballot at any authorized voting location within their jurisdiction of residence.

Whether Marylanders vote early, by mail or on Election Day, the state’s elections board assures people their votes will count. That count likely won’t end on Tuesday, the state’s deputy elections administrator Nikki Charlson said.

“It’s not going to be over on Tuesday,” she said. “We normally count ballots for 10 days and it’ll probably take us a little longer, so the important thing is (to) be patient. Once your ballot has been received, the process is going to work.”

The same checks and balances will be in place.

With so many votes being cast by mail this year, the state elections board said some voters may not see their ballots listed as counted on the online ballot tracker until after Election Day.

“Marylanders should be assured that, if a ballot was properly completed and submitted by the deadline, it will be counted in the election’s official results,” Maryland State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone said in a statement. “While media outlets may ‘call’ the election on election night, that determination is not based on an official count of ballots received. Due to the nature of this election, counting will continue for some time after Election Day.”

If you’re looking for a specific early polling center in your area, check out the full list here.

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