BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Tuesday is Election Day, marking the final day to vote in an election that has been significantly changed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Election Day is Marylanders’ final opportunity to cast their ballots in the 2020 Election. Mail-in ballots must also be postmarked by that date, though they will still be accepted until Nov. 13.
If you’re not registered to vote, there is still time. You can register in-person at polling locations on Election Day and during early voting.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m., though anyone in line by 8 p.m. will be permitted to cast their ballot. The best time to vote will be between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., officials said.
Statewide, there will be more than 300 voting centers open on Election Day. Voters can vote at any location in their county of residence, while Baltimore City residents can vote at any location in the city.
The number of voters inside a given voting center will be limited and people will remain six feet apart to practice social distancing.
Voters will also be asked to wear masks inside the polling place, the state elections board said. Those who have a disability or medical condition that prevents them from wearing one will be given a provisional ballot and asked to vote outside the voting room.
Once polls close at 8 p.m., results from early voting and mail-in ballots counted up to Election Day will be released, the elections board said. In-person votes from Election Day will be released “in subsequent hours on Election Night.”
Early in-person voting opened at 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 26 and ended at 8 p.m. on Nov. 2. More than 993,000 in-person votes were cast during that eight-day window, officials reported.
According to the Maryland Board of Elections, more than 1.6 million mail-in ballots were sent to eligible voters, more than 1.3 million of which had been returned as of Monday night.
Due to that volume, some Marylanders who go to check their ballot’s status on Election Day will not see it as being accepted. State elections officials stressed that as long as the votes were properly filled out, they will be counted.
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Here are some of the important races in Maryland:
Brandon Scott (Democrat) — In September, newly-elected City Council President Brandon Scott announced his candidacy for Baltimore mayor.
Scott grew up in a family environment in Baltimore’s Park Heights during some of the worst periods in the city’s history.
“We were clueless to the fact that we were living in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in one of the most dangerous cities in the country,” Scott said in a campaign ad. “Because they showed us we did not have settle for that.”
Scott was first elected a Baltimore City councilman at the age of 27. He was later elected President of Baltimore City Council in May 2019 after Jack Young replaced former Mayor Catherine Pugh in the wake of her book deal scandal.
Scott said he plans to build a new system of city government.
“This is about a mayor that will not be connected to the past and break the systems of government that we’ve had in the city, that will do the tough work,” Scott said.
Shannon Wright (Republican) — Pastor Shannon Wright announced her candidacy in August 2019. Wright had run for city council president as a Republican in 2016.
Wright, also a non-profit executive, said she entered the political race to improve education for Baltimore’s children.
“I’m here, not because of desire for the spotlight or anything like that, I’m here to make this city better,” Wright said.
Bob Wallace (Independent) — A Cherry Hill native, Bob Wallace is an independent candidate and entrepreneur who said he will use his expertise in business to boost economic opportunity, among other things.
“If we can address the issue of economics and jobs, as well as education, then we can impact the poverty and crime that we see today,” Wallace said.
David Harding (Working Class) — David Harding, the working-class party candidate, said he is providing an alternative to the traditional two-party system.
“We didn’t think that Republicans or Democrats represented the interests of working-class people,” Harding said.
7th Congressional District
Kimberly Klacik (Republican) — Born in Accokeek, Maryland, Kimberly Klacik admits she is fighting an uphill battle to defeat a well-known and well-financed Democrat, Kweisi Mfume, in the race for the state’s 7th Congressional District.
The local non-profit founder gained notoriety when she rallied people to help clean up Baltimore, which in turn prompted President Donald Trump to issue his now-infamous tweet about a “rat infested Baltimore.”
That opened the door for her to run for Congress of the United States.
Watch Vic Carter’s one-on-one with Klacik and learn more about her.
Kweisi Mfume (Democrat) — He served in Congress from 1987 to 1996. Little did Kweisi Mfume know that 24 years later he would again return to Washington to occupy the very seat he left in Maryland’s 7th congressional district.
Mfume won a special election to replace the unexpired term of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died in October at age 68.
That term, though, ends in January 2021, meaning Mfume is again running for Congress — this time as the incumbent.
The 71-year-old shared his priorities for his office and got personal talking about his experience with police brutality.
You can find a full list of candidates for local races here.