Frederick County Elections Officials Urge Residents To Make A Plan To Vote

Primary election day is Tues., July 19th.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – Make a plan to vote was the message from Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner during her public information briefing on Thursday.

Maryland’s primary election day is Tuesday, July 19th. Normally, it’s for voters who are registered either with the Democratic or Republican Parties, but Gardner says you don’t have to registered with either party to vote in the primary. She says they can participate in the Board of Education contest, which is a non-partisan election. “The School Board is one of the most important races we have on the ballot,” Gardner said.

The deadline for citizens to register to vote by mail has passed, but Election Director Barbara Wagner says you still sign up. “It’s not too late to register You can still be involved in the primaries. Just go to early voting and we’ll take care of you,” she said.

Citizens can register to vote during early voting, and cast their ballot on the same day. Early voting takes place from 7;00 AM until 8:00 PM from Thursday, July 7th through Thursday, July 14th, and that includes Saturday  and Sunday. Early voting sites are located at the Trinity Recreation Center, the Urbana and Thurmont  Regional Libraries, and Middletown Primary School.

Wagner says residents can also request an absentee ballot. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot delivered by the US Postal Service or by fax is July 12th. Mail-in ballots can also be sent electronically, and the deadline for that is July 15th.

When you complete the ballot, you can drop it  in one of several drop boxes around the county. “You have to have your ballot in the drop box, if you decide to use that, by 8:00 PM election day,” says Wagner. “After that, they will be locked  and not accept any more ballots.”

She also said the drop boxes are emptied each day by two individuals traveling in a county car.

There’s also a deadline for citizens who send in their mail-in ballots via the US Postal Service. “If you are using the Post Office, your ballot must be postmarked on or before July 19th, or they will be marked untimely,” says Wagner.

If you decide to vote on election day,  “we will have 63 polling places available for you to vote in,” Wagner  said. “We sent out the sample ballots with polling places and locations. But you can also visit our website. and you find out your polling place location. You can even you look at a copy of your electronic sample ballot.”

One of the questions that always comes up is how secure is Frederick County’s election process. During the public information briefing, Deputy Election Director Anthony Gutierrez addressed that. “It takes 800 members of the Frederick County Community–you, your friends, your neighbors, your family members–that volunteer to come out and provide that vital service–on election day, early voting, other parts of the process–to ensure that the security and integrity is done, and not just the 15 of use that are in the office,” he said.

Gutierrez was referring to those citizens who help out as election judges and poll workers on election day and early voting.

For more information on election day and voting, or to sign up as an election judge, call 301-600-VOTE {8683) or go on line t

By Kevin McManus