Want to reg­is­ter, or write a let­ter? Here’s how

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

There’s less than a month to go now. Let­ters sup­port­ing can­di­dates are com­ing in hot and heavy (more on that in a bit). Four re­main­ing po­lit­i­cal fo­rums (three which are free to the pub­lic) are still on the slate. It’s safe to say the cam­paigns are in high gear.

If you want to vote but haven’t reg­is­tered, the clock is tick­ing. If you’re el­i­gi­ble to vote — that is, you’ll be 18 by Nov. 6 — but haven’t reg­is­tered yet, the dead­line is next Tues­day, Oct. 16, at 9 p.m. Of course, you can also change your party af­fil­i­a­tion, up­date your address or re­quest an al­ter­nate polling place from the one you’ve been as­signed be­cause of where you live. It’s get­ting a lit­tle late to do it by mail, but you can visit the board of elec­tions of­fice to­day, Mon­day or Tues­day, or do it on­line at elec­tions.mary­land. gov/voter_reg­is­tra­tion. All you’ll need is your driver’s li­cense or other form of state-is­sued ID.

Early vot­ing will be from Oct. 25 to Nov. 1 at the La Plata fire­house on Washington Av­enue and the Gle­nea­gles Neigh­bor­hood Cen­ter at 4900 Kirk­caldy Court in Wal­dorf from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day — even Satur­day and Sun­day. If you still haven’t reg­is­tered by then, you can do it at early vot­ing. Again, you’ll need to bring some form of ID.

One of the two bal­lot ques­tions in­volves mak­ing voter reg­is­tra­tion avail­able on Elec­tion Day it­self. If that ref­er­en­dum passes — and we sup­port it whole­heart­edly — same­day reg­is­tra­tion on Elec­tion Day would start in 2020. We see it as just one more way to make do­ing your civic duty more ac­ces­si­ble and con­ve­nient. You can also still ap­ply for an ab­sen­tee bal­lot for the Nov. 6 gen­eral elec­tion, as long as it’s re­ceived by 8 p.m. on Tues­day, Oct. 30 (in the mail or hand de­liv­ered) or by 11:59 p.m. (if sent elec­tron­i­cally). For more about reg­is­tra­tion and ab­sen­tee bal­lots, call 301-475-4200, ext. 1613.

Now back to the sub­ject of po­lit­i­cal let­ters. In ad­di­tion to the other parts of our elec­tion pol­icy, which we’re run­ning ev­ery other edi­tion in a spe­cial box on this page, there’s one more thing we’d like to add in the in­ter­est of fair­ness to all. The ab­so­lute dead­line for any po­lit­i­cal let­ter will be noon on Mon­day, Oct. 29. This al­lows writ­ers a fair chance to get pub­lished, while at the same time al­low­ing a fair cush­ion for re­but­tal. Let­ters that come in af­ter the fi­nal dead­line will not be pub­lished in print, but they will be posted on our web­site.

By now, the can­di­dates them­selves should know what the rules are re­gard­ing let­ters. If not, the box on this page out­lin­ing the re­stric­tions should serve as a re­fresher.

So as long as you play by the rules, you’re in­vited to write a let­ter. If you still need to reg­is­ter or make some changes to your vot­ing pro­file, hop to it. And once you’re reg­is­tered, be sure to vote.

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