Gilberto Zelaya Reminds Residents to Check Voting Locations for May 14 Primary

Maryland election officials prepare for May 14 Primary Election Day, offering 58 drop boxes and mail-in ballots. Early voting saw 156,248 ballots cast, with Baltimore County reporting the highest turnout at 5.2% of eligible voters.

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Gilberto Zelaya Reminds Residents to Check Voting Locations for May 14 Primary

Gilberto Zelaya Reminds Residents to Check Voting Locations for May 14 Primary

As the May 14, 2024 Primary Election Day approaches in Maryland,election officialsare making final preparations and reminding voters to check their voting locations. Gilberto Zelaya, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Board of Elections, emphasized that residents have multiple options for casting their ballots, including 58 drop boxes available 24/7 until 8 p.m. on Election Day and mail-in ballots that must be postmarked by 8 p.m.

Why this matters: The outcome of the primary election will have a significant impact on the political landscape of Maryland, shaping the direction of local and state policies. Ensuring that all eligible voters can participate in the democratic process is crucial for a healthy and representative democracy.

The state's eight-day early voting period concluded with 156,248 ballots cast. Boards of elections are now focused on canvassing mail-in ballots and readying for Primary Election Day. Bipartisan teams are preparing and sealing equipment for 243 polling places, with the entire process under 24/7 surveillance and security monitoring.

Baltimore County saw the highest early voting turnout in the Baltimore-Washington metro area at 5.2% of eligible, active voters. Other counties also reported solid turnout, with Howard County at 4.6%, Baltimore City at 4.32%, Prince George's County at 4.29%, Anne Arundel County at 3.25%, and Montgomery County at 2.99%.

Baltimore County Elections Director Ruie LaVoie expressed excitement about the voter turnout, saying,"We love our voters, and we want to serve them. We were ready, and they came out, and it was a very successful early voting week. So, my team and I were very, very happy about that."

As a closed primary state, Maryland voters can only participate in their registered party's primary election. However, any voter can cast ballots for nonpartisan offices like board of education seats. The deadline to register to vote or update registration information, including party affiliation, was April 23. Voters can still register in person on Election Day itself.

All voting centers in Maryland are accessible to voters with disabilities, with ballot marking devices available for blind voters and those with low vision. Voters can also bring one or two children under 18 with them to vote. While voters are permitted to wear clothing, buttons, or stickers with political messages, they must leave the polling place immediately after voting.

As Primary Election Day nears, Maryland voters are encouraged to verify their voting locations and make plans to cast their ballots, either in person on May 14, by mail with a postmark no later than 8 p.m. that day, or via one of the 58 secure drop boxes located throughout the state. With early voting complete and election officials finalizing preparations, the stage is set for Marylanders to make their voices heard in this important primary election.