Maryland Election Law

Related Information

Voter Registration

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
MethodIn person, by mail, online.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Deadline21 days before Election DayNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
AutomaticYes; during DMV transactions.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Same DayYes; during the early voting period.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Absentee Ballot Application

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
ExcuseNo excuse required.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
AutomaticNoAbsentee ballot request forms were sent to all qualified voters in the general election.HB1048 and SB0683 (both enacted) make all voters eligible for permanent absentee ballot status on request at any time.
DeadlineIf ballot sent by mail or fax; the Tuesday before Election Day.
If ballot sent electronically; the Friday before Election Day.
If voter's agent applies for absentee ballot in person; the closing of the polls on Election Day.
October 20, 2020 (No Changes)No Legislative Activity
Valid for X# of Cycles1, unless application for permanent absentee status.No Changes.HB1048 and SB0683 (both enacted) make all voters eligible for permanent absentee ballot status on request at any time.

Absentee Ballot Return (other than by mail)

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Voter IDNo ID required by state law.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
In PersonYesNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Drop BoxAvailable by county; legislation silent.No legislative change; statewide ballot drop box locations increased.HB1047 (passed House) would require at least 300 drop boxes to be available statewide and establish new legislative language regarding drop boxes.
HB1048 (enacted) establishes drop box procedures for local boards.
SB0683 establishes new legislative language regarding drop boxes.
Return DeadlinePoll closing on Election Day.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Ballot Harvesting

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
ProhibitedNo; any non-candidate adult designated in signed writing by the voter may pick up and return absentee ballots.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Limited 3rd PartyNot prohibited.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Paid Political OperativesNot prohibited.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Early Voting

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
By MailPermittedNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
In PersonPermitted at early voting centers from the second Thursday before an election through the Thursday before the election.No ChangesHB0206 and SB0596 (both enacted) extend early voting hours to 7AM-8PM during each early voting day.
HB0745 (enacted) increases the number of early voting centers established by number of registered voters in a county.

Voter Identification - Absentee Ballot

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Signature VerificationNoNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Witness StatementNo No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
OtherNo No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Cure ProcessNoNo ChangesHB1047 (passed House) would require the State Board to establish regulations for a notification and cure system for problems with absentee ballots.

Voter Identification - In Person

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Photo IDNo state law ID requirements unless voting for the first time.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Other OptionsFirst-time voters in MD must show an ID or a current bill or statement that verifies the voter's name and address.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Provisional BallotsUsed if unregistered voters without ID declare eligibility and registration in writing on Election Day.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Voting Day

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Hours7AM-8PMNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Wait TimeNo LegislationNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
ElectioneeringProhibited within 100 feet of a polling place on Election Day.No ChangesHB1047 (passed House) only prohibits electioneering at drop boxes if it prohibits access to the drop box itself.
Other--

Voter Rolls

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Update FrequencyAt the discretion of the State Board of Elections.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Voter RemovalWhen voter requests removal in writing, dies, is convicted of a felony, is placed under guardianship for mental disability, is convicted of buying/selling votes, moves out of state, or remains inactive through 2 general elections.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity