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Who may vote by absentee ballot?

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot.

How do I request an absentee ballot?

You submit a request to receive an absentee ballot. Please read the instructions before completing the absentee ballot application.

Your request for an absentee ballot application must be received (not just mailed) by the deadline:

After the deadline, a Late Application for Absentee Ballot must be completed in person at the board of elections.

If you hand deliver your request, you can pick up your absentee ballot. You may either take your absentee ballot with you and return it by mail or you may vote it at the local board office and give it to an election official. Please visit your local board of elections' website for hours of operation.

Under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, military and overseas voters can vote by absentee ballot. If you are a military or overseas voter, learn more about absentee voting and the FVAP's On-line Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot.

Note: Maryland does not have a permanent absentee list. If you wish to vote by absentee ballot, you must apply for an absentee ballot each primary and general election cycle.

Can I have someone pick up my ballot?

If you cannot go to your local board of elections, you may designate someone to serve as your agent and submit your absentee ballot application and pick up and deliver your absentee ballot. If you wish to do this, you and the person you are designating as your agent must complete the Absentee Ballot: Designation of Agent Form (Papeleta de Votante Ausente: Formulario para Designar un Representante). This form can also be obtained from your local board of elections.

How do I vote my absentee ballot?

After you receive your absentee ballot, read the instructions that were sent with your ballot and find a place where you can vote secretly. You will need a No. 2 pencil to vote. Review your ballot before voting as your ballot may be multiple pages.

You will be voting a paper ballot and must completely fill in the oval to the left of your choice. Do not vote for more candidates than the number specified in the contest heading. If you wish, you may vote for fewer candidates than specified. Do not sign your name or make any other mark on your ballot.

Write-in voting is only allowed in general elections. A general election ballot has spaces for write-in votes. To cast a write-in vote, fill in the oval to the left of the space for the write-in vote, and write the last name and first name (or first initial) of the person in the appropriate space.

You must mail or hand deliver your absentee ballot to your local board of elections. You cannot email or fax your voted absentee ballot or take your voted ballot to an early voting center or a polling place.

When do I have to submit my absentee ballot?

If you hand deliver your ballot, you must deliver it to your local board of elections by 8 pm on election day.

If you mail your ballot, you must mail it on or before election day and it must be received by your local board of elections by 10 am on September 22, 2010 (primary election) and November 12, 2010 (general election).

If you have specific questions, please contact your local board of elections or the State Board of Elections.

Can I have help?

Yes, if you have a disability or are unable to read or write, you may have help requesting an absentee ballot and voting. Any person can help you except:

If you need help competing the absentee ballot application, the person can help you with Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the application and must complete Part 4. If you cannot sign the application, the person helping you should print your name in Part 3 and write his or her initials after your name.

If you need help voting your ballot, the person helping you must mark the ballot according to your wishes and cannot make an effort to influence your vote. The person helping you must complete the Certification of Person Assisting Absentee Voter (provided with your absentee ballot). This certification must be returned with your voted ballot.

Contact your local board of elections for more information on this process.