It’s the first time for a local municipal election.
Frederick, Md (KM). For the first time, early voting will be offered in the city of Frederick’s municipal elections. Polls will be set up this Friday, August 25th at the Frederick Senior Center, 1440 Taney Avenue, from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM; and on Saturday, August 26th, from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
Stuart Harvey, the County’s Election Director, says city’s Board of Supervisors of Elections will be in charge of the election, but the County will provide the voting equipment and support services. “The voting equipment that was used in the 2016 county elections. We’re lending some of that equipment to the city for both early voting and election day,” he says. “The city uses the electronic poll books that the county uses. And we train the election judges because, obviously, they use our equipment.”
The city will use the same paper ballots that the county used last year. Harvey says voters will fill in a “bubble” next to the name of the candidate of their choice. “Don’t put an ‘x.,’ or don;t put a check mark. It’s just like the SAT test at school. You just fill in the bubble,” he says.
He says Frederick citizens began using that paper ballot in 2013, long before the rest of the county. But there could be a few people who may not remember that, or may be unfamiliar with it because they’re voting for the first time. “I would suggest going to the City of Frederick website and taking a look at the ballot. The specimen ballot will also be posted at the polling place so that city voters can review it,” says Harvey.
The County has had early voting for a few years, and Harvey says turnout wasn’t very high in the beginning. “As of last year, when early voting was expanded to four locations in the county, it’s become very popular,” he says. “Somewhere between 15% and 20% of our voters took advantage of early voting, 15% to 20% of the people who turned out in that election.”
In some instances during last year’s early voting, there were long lines at some polls. “I would think that because this is early voting in the city for the first time, we’re not anticipating long lines. But since it’s the only location, be patient. If you are in line when the polls close Friday evening or Saturday evening, you will certainly be allowed to vote,” says Harvey.
The regular Primary Election day in the city of Frederick is Tuesday, September 12th from 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM. Only citizens registered as Democrats or Republicans are eligible to vote in the Primary, and that includes both early voting and on September 12th.
Election Day is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7th. The polls then will also be open then from 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM. Citizens then will also be able to take part in early voting on Friday, October 27th from 12:00 PM until 8:00 PM, and Saturday, October 28th from 12:00 PM until 6:00 PM. Polls again will be set up at the Frederick Senior Center, 1440 Taney Avenue.
The General Election is open to all registered voters, regardless of party registration.
By Kevin McManus