Frederick County Board Of Elections Preparing For Md. Primary

Residents are urged to ‘make a plan to vote.’

Frederick, Md (KM) While candidates for President, US Senator, the House of Representatives and other posts are campaigning for votes, local elections offices are getting reading for the May 14th Maryland Primary. And that includes the Frederick County Board of Elections. “We have been preparing for several months. We have lined up our polling places and our early voting sites. We are already training our election judges,” says Anthony Gutierrez, the County Deputy Director of Elections.

Gutierrez says it’s important for citizens to make a plan to vote. “Now is a great time to check on your current voter registration, if we don’t have the most up-to-date information; or if you’re new to the county and you want to register to vote,” he says.

As in past years, Gutierrez says Frederick County will be providing early voting from Thursday, May 2nd to Thursday, May 9th from 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM each day, including Sunday. There will also be opportunities for residents to vote by mail. “The State Board of Elections contracts out a vendor to do the printing of ballots statewide,”: he says. “We expect ballots to go out to our voters sometime by mid-April. And that’s also the time when we’re expecting to have the official ballot drop boxes deployed around Frederick County.”

Gutierrez says the county expects to have ten drop boxes in place prior to Primary Election Day, May 14th. He says they will be emptied periodically. “We try not to give out the schedule. We don’t want  to give too much information. Yes, those are regularly scheduled for pickups. We also have monitoring, security camera monitoring, on them,” says Gutierrez.

If you want to update your voter information, Gutierrez says you can do that right until late next month. “Tuesday, April 23rd, that’s the advance deadline to update information. That’s also the last date that someone can affiliate with a party and choose which ballot that would like to affiliate so they can vote on May 14th,” he says. Only those citizens registered with the Democratic  or Republican Party can cast ballots on Primary Election Day. They can vote on General Election day no matter their party affiliation or lack of.

For those who are not registered to vote, Gutierrez says they can register on the same day as early voting, or on primary election day.

With   drop boxes, mail-in ballots and early voting available,  Gutierrez says it seems that more people are using those methods of casting their ballots rather than the traditional way of going to the polls on election day. “That’s is definitely the trend of more voters choosing those methods,” he says.

For more information about the voting process, registration and other related concerns, Frederick County residents can call 301-600-8683 (VOTE).

By Kevin McManus