Is June 24 shaping up to be such a busy day for you that you’re not sure how you will make it to the polls? Don’t worry, registered Maryland voters, you can cast your ballots early. And, unlike some other states, you don’t even need a valid reason for doing it.
Early voting centers will open in each county on Thursday and operate until next Thursday, June 19. The centers are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The process of voting early is the same as voting on election day using a touchscreen ballot system. (The Maryland State Board of Elections has a list of the early voting locations.)
This year’s primary is unusually early. Maryland has previously held its primaries in September, but lawmakers moved the voting date up to the last Tuesday in June to make it easier for election officials to get ballots for the general election prepared and sent to troops overseas. Some worry this will result in a lower turnout.
“We all do best when we’re all more involved, and we’re all included, so we always want higher and better turnout,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon to promote early voting. “We know our democracy, just like our economy, works best when more people participate.”