Citizens line up on first day of in-person voting

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
On Monday at noon, the first day of early, in-person voting, citizens were in line to cast their ballots at the County Office Building in Cambridge.

CAMBRIDGE — Dorchester citizens turned out Monday for the first day of in-person voting in the 2020 Presidential Election. Early voting by mail has been underway for several weeks.
Early voting will take place at the County Office Building until Nov. 2. The final day of voting will be Nov. 3.
At noon on Monday, a line of voters at the County Office Building stretched out the door and around the corner, almost to Court Street.
In a year marked by turbulence, enthusiasm for the election appears to be at record-breaking levels. National early voting totals surpassed previous years several days ago.

The first day of early voting in Maryland broke the state’s record of highest single-day early voting turnout.
The Maryland State Board of Election announced that Monday’s unofficial voter turnout of more than 161,000 surpassed the previous unofficial single-day early voting record of 143,494 set on the final day of early voting in the 2016 general election, a report from WTOP radio said.
“Today’s record-setting total is in addition to the more than 1.6 million voters who requested a mail-in ballot and the roughly 830,000 who have already submitted them,” Maryland State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone said in a statement.
In addition, nearly 1,000 people registered to vote in order to cast their ballots Monday, Lamone said. Same-day voter registration is available at early voting centers in Maryland.

Citizens are being urged by authorities to be avoid misinformation regarding time, place and manner of voting in Maryland.
“The right to vote is one of the most important rights exercised by Americans,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Plan now to determine when, where, and how you will vote. Don’t let misinformation keep you from exercising your right to vote!”
Early voting will take place 7 a.m.-8 p.m. through Nov. 2, including the weekend. The polling place is Dorchester County Office Building, at 501 Court Lane in Cambridge.
Information from the Maryland State Board of Elections said the best time to vote early is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekdays.

Voters are allowed to wear clothing, buttons, masks, or other items with a political message while they are voting. Voters who are wearing political messages are not allowed to linger in the polling place or within the “No Electioneering Zone” after voting, information from the Dorchester County Board of Elections said.
Voters can drop their 2020 Presidential General Election Ballot off in the Official Ballot Drop Box on Court Lane, outside the County Office Building.

On Nov. 3 only
There will be three voting centers in Dorchester, on Nov. 3, the final day to cast a ballot:
Cambridge-South Dorchester High School, 2475 Cambridge Beltway
North Dorchester High School, 5875 Cloverdale Road, Hurlock
Dorchester County Office Building, 501 Court Lane, Cambridge
Face masks and social distancing will be required. Delays may be avoided by voting during off-peak hours, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Enthusiasm for the electoral process has been high in Dorchester and around the nation.
Demonstrations have taken place in the county demanding racial equality, as well as for both major political parties.
In the 2016 General Election, Dorchester chose Donald Trump for president, with 8,413 votes. Hillary Clinton had 6,245 votes.

Voting Information:
(1) Voting By Mail
If you chose to receive your mail-in ballot by U.S. Mail, simply follow the instructions with your ballot and return it in the postage-paid return envelope that accompanies your ballot. Your mail-in ballot must be mailed AND postmarked on or before November 3, 2020, to be counted. Please be advised that putting your ballot in a mailbox on November 3 does not mean it is postmarked that day, so plan ahead.

(2) Ballot Drop Boxes
You can also put your ballot in a drop off box location up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3. A list of drop box locations can be found on the website of the Maryland State Board of Elections at https://elections.maryland.gov/.
Ballot Drop Boxes
Those that have requested mail-in ballots can drop off their ballots at one of the drop box locations across the state. Below are a list of drop boxes in District 37.
• Caroline County Health and Public Services Building 403 S. Seventh Street, Suite 247 Denton
• The General James F. Fretterd Community Center 107 S. Fourth Street Denton, MD 21629
• Dorchester County Board of Elections 501 Court Lane Cambridge, MD 21613
• Easton Volunteer Fire Department 315 Aurora Park Drive Easton, MD 21601
• Talbot Talbot County Board of Elections 215 Bay Street Easton, MD 21601
• Pittsville Volunteer Fire Department 7442 Gumboro Rd Pittsville, MD 21850
• Wicomico Wicomico Civic Center 500 Glen Avenue Salisbury, MD 21804
• Wicomico Wicomico County Board of Elections 345 Snow Hill Road Salisbury, MD 21804
• Wicomico Wicomico Tourism Center N Salisbury Boulevard Delmar, MD 21875
The ballot drop boxes are open now and will remain open until November 3rd at 8 p.m.

(3) In-Person Early Voting
In-person voting will begin during the early voting period from Monday, October 26 to Monday, November 2, 2020. On early voting days, approximately 80 vote centers will be open statewide from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters can cast their vote at any vote center in their county of residence. Visit the Maryland State Board of Election’s website at https://elections.maryland.gov/ to see the list of early voting centers.

(4) Voting In-Person on Election Day
On Election Day, approximately 315 vote centers will be open statewide, including the early voting centers. Voters can cast their vote at any vote center in their county of residence, and residents in the City of Baltimore may cast their vote at any vote center in the city. Your neighborhood polling place probably will not be open on Election Day, but there should be a vote center near you.

Vote centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Visit the Maryland State Board of Elections website at elections.maryland.gov/ to see the list of Election Day vote centers.
Content included in this article was republished with permission from Maryland Matters and WTOP Radio. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription at marylandmatters.org.