On Election Eve, More Than 2.3 Million Marylanders Have Already Voted

A line of voters snakes through the parking lot at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center in Annapolis on Oct. 26, 2020, the first day of early voting in Maryland. Photo by Bennett Leckrone.

Nearly 994,000 voters had cast their ballots during Maryland’s early voting period by the time it ended at 8 p.m. on Monday, far surpassing the 2016 election, when 876,000 Marylanders voted early.

A total of 140,362 Marylanders had voted as of  8 p.m. on Monday alone, according to the State Board of Elections. Coupled with the 853,014 early votes cast over the past week, a total of 993,376 early votes were cast in the state.

And not all provisional ballots cast during early voting are included in that turnout figure, so the total number could be even higher.

Advocates don’t expect voting to slow down on Tuesday.

Although 1,316,928 mail-in ballots had been received by local boards of elections as of Monday morning, Election Day could see turnout figures that rival 2016, Common Cause Maryland Executive Director Joanne Antoine told Maryland Matters.

“Voters realize this election is critical,” Antoine said. “They can’t afford to stand on the sidelines and do nothing.”

The 2016 presidential election saw a total turnout of 1,674,473 at the polls on Election Day, according to state data. All told, more than 2.3 million Marylanders have voted in the 2020 election so far – well over half of the state’s 4.1 million electorate.

Some voters told Maryland Matters that they were driven to vote early over fears that the Postal Service wouldn’t deliver their ballots on time. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, although election officials are urging voters to submit their ballots at secure drop boxes around the state.

The state’s Election Day voting centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. You can find a ballot drop-off box or voting center in your county here. Voters who are in line by 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote, according to the State Board of Elections.

“It is imperative that every eligible Marylander have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” Maryland Elections Administrator Linda Lamone said in a statement. “Election officials across the state are prepared to keep vote centers open as long as it takes for voters who were in line by 8 p.m. to cast their ballots.”

In the statement, Lamone emphasized that all votes will be counted if the ballots were submitted on time, and that ballot counting won’t be finished on Election Day. Voters can keep tabs on their ballot via the state’s online tracker.

“Some voters will understandably be concerned that a ballot they submitted prior to Election Day is not showing as counted on the ballot tracker by November 3,” Lamone said. “Marylanders should be assured that, if a ballot was properly completed and submitted by the deadline, it will be counted in the election’s official results. While media outlets may ‘call’ the election on election night, that determination is not based on an official count of ballots received. Due to the nature of this election, counting will continue for some time after Election Day.”

On Monday, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it will send election observers to 44 counties across the country on Tuesday, including in Montgomery County.

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Bennett Leckrone
Leckrone is a December 2019 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. He has interned at The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Columbus Dispatch, PennLive.com, The Dayton Daily News and The Troy Daily News. Leckrone is a Report for America corps member.