Dorch­ester elec­tion board re­leases vot­ing in­for­ma­tion

Dorchester Star - - Regional -

CAM­BRIDGE — For the 2016 Pres­i­den­tial Gen­eral Elec­tion, vot­ers can vote in per­son or by ab­sen­tee bal­lot.

To vote in per­son, vot­ers who re­side in Dorch­ester County can vote be­fore elec­tion day at an early vot­ing cen­ter in Dorch­ester County or on elec­tion day at the polling place for their res­i­dence in Dorch­ester County.

Early vot­ing cen­ters will be open for vot­ing from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Thurs­day, Oct. 27, through and in­clud­ing Thurs­day, Nov. 3. The best days to vote early to avoid de­lays are Sat­ur­day, Oct. 29, and Sun­day, Oct. 30. The early vot­ing cen­ter in Dorch­ester County is lo­cated at the Dorch­ester County of­fice build­ing at 501 Court Lane.

Vot­ers who pre­fer to vote on elec­tion day can vote on Tues­day, Nov. 8, 2016. On elec­tion day, polling places will be open for vot­ing from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To avoid de­lays, vot­ers should try to vote be­tween the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

On elec­tion day, Dorch­ester County vot­ers should vote at their as­signed polling place. Vot­ers can find their as­signed polling place by look­ing at the voter no­ti­fi­ca­tion card they re­ceived from the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions or by click­ing the Find your Polling Place link at www. elec­tions.mary­land.gov. Vot­ers who have moved, but have not up­dated their ad­dress with the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions, should search for the polling place for their new ad­dress or con­tact the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions. It is im­por­tant for vot­ers to vote in the polling place for their new ad­dress be­cause only those con­tests for which vot­ers are el­i­gi­ble to vote will be counted.

There is a new pa­per­based vot­ing sys­tem in Mary­land. Vot­ers will now cast votes by mark­ing and scan­ning pa­per bal­lots. Most vot­ers will use pens to mark pa­per bal­lots by hand but, there will be an ac­ces­si­ble de­vice for vot­ers who need help read­ing or mark­ing a bal­lot. All vot­ers will in­sert their marked pa­per bal­lots into a scan­ner. In­struc­tions will be avail­able to help vot­ers fa­mil­iar­ize them­selves with the bal­lot and how to vote. Vot­ers may also ask an elec­tion judge to ex­plain how to vote on the vot­ing sys­tem, but a voter must vote alone, un­less the voter is un­able to do so be­cause of dis­abil­ity, in­abil­ity to write, or in­abil­ity to read the bal­lot.

The dead­line to re­quest a 2016 Pres­i­den­tial Gen­eral Elec­tion ab­sen­tee bal­lot for mail de­liv­ery is Tues­day, Nov. 1. The dead­line to re­quest an ab­sen­tee bal­lot for the gen­eral elec­tion for on­line de­liv­ery is Fri­day, Nov. 4. Any reg­is­tered voter in Mary­land may re­quest and vote by ab­sen­tee bal­lot.

A voter who wishes to vote by ab­sen­tee bal­lot may re­quest an ab­sen­tee bal­lot (1) on­line for vot­ers with a Mary­land driver’s li­cense or MVA-is­sued ID card; (2) by submitting a signed ap­pli­ca­tion; (3) in writ­ing; or (4) in per­son at the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions. To re­quest an ab­sen­tee bal­lot ap­pli­ca­tion from the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions, call 410-2282560 or visit the of­fice at 501 Court Lane, Room 105, Cam­bridge MD from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Vot­ers also may visit www.elec­tions. mar yland.gov/vot­ing/ab­sen­tee.html to re­quest an ab­sen­tee bal­lot on­line, to print an ap­pli­ca­tion, or for more in­for­ma­tion.

If a voter wishes to re­ceive the ab­sen­tee bal­lot by mail, the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions must re­ceive a com­pleted ab­sen­tee bal­lot ap­pli­ca­tion; if the re­quest is mailed by 8 p.m. on Tues­day, Nov. 1, or if the re­quest is sub­mit­ted on­line or by email or fax, by 11:59 p.m. on Tues­day, Nov. 1.

If a voter wishes to re­ceive the ab­sen­tee bal­lot on­line, the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions must re­ceive a com­pleted ab­sen­tee bal­lot ap­pli­ca­tion; if the re­quest is mailed by 5 p.m. on Fri­day, Nov. 4, or if the re­quest is sub­mit­ted on­line or by email or fax, by 11:59 p.m. on Fri­day, Nov. 4.

If a voter misses the ap­pli­ca­ble dead­line, the ab­sen­tee bal­lot re­quest must be made in per­son at the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions at 501 Court Lane, Rm. 105, Cam­bridge MD 21613.

For ab­sen­tee and pro­vi­sional vot­ing, vot­ers are is­sued a pa­per bal­lot. Ab­sen­tee vot­ers who choose to re­ceive their bal­lot elec­tron­i­cally, print their own pa­per bal­lot to mark by hand or use the on­line bal­lot mark­ing tool to mark and print the bal­lot. To mark a bal­lot by hand, vot­ers fill in the ovals next to the can­di­dates or bal­lot ques­tion re­sponses for which they want to vote.

At the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions, the bal­lot is fed into a scan­ner which reads and tab­u­lates the se­lec­tions made by vot­ers. All pro­vi­sional bal­lots and ab­sen­tee bal­lots are re­viewed in a pub­lic meet­ing af­ter the elec­tion and counted or re­jected ac­cord­ing to State law and reg­u­la­tion.

Voted ab­sen­tee bal­lots may be de­liv­ered to the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions by 8 p.m. on elec­tion day or mailed on or be­fore elec­tion day and re­ceived by the lo­cal board by Fri­day, Nov. 18. All ab­sen­tee bal­lots are re­viewed, re­gard­less of whether or not the ab­sen­tee bal­lots will im­pact the out­come of an elec­tion.

A pro­vi­sional bal­lot is a safe­guard to en­sure that in­di­vid­u­als who be­lieve they are reg­is­tered and el­i­gi­ble to vote are able to vote. Vot­ers re­quired to vote by pro­vi­sional bal­lot will be asked to com­plete a pro­vi­sional bal­lot ap­pli­ca­tion, and then is­sued a pa­per bal­lot. It is im­por­tant that vot­ers com­plete the en­tire pro­vi­sional bal­lot ap­pli­ca­tion be­cause the in­for­ma­tion on the ap­pli­ca­tion is used to de­ter­mine whether the pro­vi­sional bal­lot will be counted.

All pro­vi­sional bal­lot ap­pli­ca­tions are re­viewed, re­gard­less of whether or not the pro­vi­sional bal­lots im­pact the out­come of an elec­tion. A pro­vi­sional bal­lot will only be counted af­ter the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions has re­viewed the pro­vi­sional bal­lot ap­pli­ca­tion and de­ter­mined that the in­di­vid­ual is in fact reg­is­tered and el­i­gi­ble to vote the pro­vi­sional bal­lot. Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about pro­vi­sional vot­ing is avail­able at www. elec­tions.mary­land.gov/ vot­ing/pro­vi­sion­al_vot­ing. html.

Vot­ers can visit www. elec­tions.mary­land.gov/ elec­tions/2016/in­dex.html for more 2016 elec­tion in­for­ma­tion or con­tact the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions at 410-2282560 or the State Board of Elec­tions at 1-800-222VOTE (8683).

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