Home National Weather Maryland voters head to the polls as early in-person primary voting begins – Baltimore Sun

Maryland voters head to the polls as early in-person primary voting begins – Baltimore Sun

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Voters began heading into polling places across Maryland on Thursday for the first of seven days of early voting in this year’s primary election.

Statewide, competitive races for governor, attorney general and comptroller headline the ballots for most voters. None of the three incumbents is running for reelection and large fields of Democrats and Republicans are vying to replace them.

Voters in some areas are also choosing among multiple candidates to nominate for the General Assembly and local offices like county executive, county council and state’s attorney.

Ahead of the July 19 primary, the in-person voting that kicked off Thursday will run 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily — including Saturday and Sunday — through July 14.

Voters can visit any early voting center in their county. Baltimore residents can choose among seven early voting centers in the city, and Baltimore County residents have 11 locations to choose from. A full list of early voting centers is available at elections.maryland.gov/voting.

In 2020, a presidential election held during the pandemic, 152,000 early voting ballots were cast on the first day.

While Thursday marks the start of in-person voting this year, voting actually has been underway for weeks.

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The state has mailed or emailed ballots to nearly 460,000 voters who requested them in the last month, according to data from the State Board of Elections as of July 5. Of those, the board had already received ballots from at least 18,850 Democrats and 5,800 Republicans.

Voters have until July 12 to request a ballot by mail. Those who choose early in-person voting cannot vote by mail or in-person on July 19.

In Maryland’s closed primary system, voters can only cast a ballot for the party in which they’re registered.

And while roughly 2.2 million Democrats and about 1 million Republicans are registered to vote in Maryland, officials expect a relatively small percentage of them to vote this summer.

Only about 29% of registered Democrats and 22% of Republicans voted in 2018, the last gubernatorial primary, when Republican Gov. Larry Hogan ran for reelection. Maryland governors are limited to serving two four-year terms.

Baltimore Sun reporter Emily Opilo contributed to this article.

This article will be updated.



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Source: Baltimore Sun