More than 161,000 Marylanders cast their ballots during the first day of early voting, according to the State Board of Elections, setting what is believed to be a single-day record for early voting in the state.
By comparison, the 2016 election saw 123,623 voters on the first day of early voting, according to data from the State Board of Elections.
With Monday’s 161,000-plus votes combined with the 947,941 mail-in ballots returned so far, more than 1.1 million Marylanders have voted so far in 2020.
Statewide early voting number for Day 1 is over 161,000 #MDvotes
— Maryland Elections (@md_sbe) October 27, 2020
Voters waited for hours in lines at early voting centers across the state, with many lining up well before the state’s 81 early voting centers opened at 7 a.m. Monday morning. Some told Maryland Matters that worries over Postal Service delays and national rhetoric about mail-in ballots led them to vote in person.
The 2016 General Election saw a total turnout of just over 2.8 million voters. That figure includes Election Day, early voting, mail-in and provisional ballots. Advocates expect longer lines and even more voters at early voting centers going forward.
“We should expect even longer lines as we get closer to Election Day,” Common Cause Maryland Executive Director Joanne Antoine said on Monday.
Early voting will continue until Nov. 2. Voters can head to any early voting center in their jurisdiction. Those centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and will remain open as regular in-person voting centers on Election Day.