EASTON Election officials want to remind local residents that the deadline to register to vote or to change party affiliation for the primary election in Maryland is 9 p.m. today.

While primary election participation is limited to Republican and Democratic voters in three Mid-Shore counties, officials in both Caroline and Dorchester counties want to remind residents that all registered voters are eligible to vote for non-partisan Board of Education seats.

All registered voters in northern Caroline County (District 1) and southern Caroline (District 3), and in Councilmanic District 5 in Dorchester County, will be eligible to choose two of three school board candidates in each district to continue to the general election in November.

Councilmanic District 5 runs from northeast Dorchester to Vienna and west along U.S. Route 50 to Cambridge.

On Thursday, Caroline County Election Director Sandra Logan said she also has been getting calls from residents thinking there won't be a Democratic primary ballot since President Barack Obama is not opposed. Logan wanted to remind voters that candidates for other elected offices, including U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as delegates for national conventions will be chosen.

The 2012 presidential primary election will be held Tuesday, April 3, with early voting running March 24 through 29 and the general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6, with early voting being held Oct. 27 through Nov. 1.

To vote in the upcoming primary election, Maryland residents who are eligible to vote but are not yet registered, including 17-year-olds who will be 18 years old or older on or before the Nov. 6 General Election, must complete a voter registration application and hand-deliver or mail the application to a local election board.

A hand-delivered application must be received by a local board at 9 p.m. March 13 and a mailed application must be postmarked by March 13.

This also is the deadline for registered voters who have moved since the last election to provide updated address information to the local board and for registered voters who wish to change their party affiliation.

Voter registration applications are available at the following locations: local boards of elections and the State Board of Elections, Motor Vehicle Administration offices, post offices, public libraries, health department offices, Department of Social Services offices, Offices on Aging, Division of Rehabilitation Services, public institutions of higher education and marriage license bureaus.

An application also can be requested by calling 1-800-222-8683 or going online at http://www.elections.state.md.us and clicking on Voter Registration Information under the Quick Links section.

Most of Maryland's polling places are accessible to voters with disabilities. An elderly voter or a voter with a disability who is assigned to an inaccessible polling place may request reassignment to an accessible polling place.

This request must be submitted in writing by 9 p.m. March 13. The form to request reassignment is available at http://www.elections.state.md.us and typing "polling place reassignment" in the Search field.

On receipt of a timely request, the local board of elections will review the request and determine whether there is an accessible polling place with the same ballot as the voter's home precinct and notify the voter of the status of his or her request.

On the State Board of Elections' website, a voter can verify his or her voter registration status and find out if the polling place to which he or she has been assigned is accessible.

As of March 5, Caroline County has 7,898 registered Republican voters, 7,656 Democratic voters, 35 Green Party voters, 65 Libertarian voters, and 3,237 unaffiliated voters. Queen Anne's County has 14,630 Republicans, 11,124 Democrats, 58 Green Party members, 96 Libertarians, and 4,732 unaffiliated.

As of March 7, Dorchester County had 6,943 Republicans, 9,983 Democrats, 24 Green Party members, 51 Libertarians, and 2,221 unaffiliated.

As of March 1, in Kent County there were 5,900 Democrats, 4,437 Republicans, 37 Green Party members, 37 Libertarians, and 1,598 unaffiliated.

As of March 8, Talbot County had 9,783 Democrats, 10,880 Republicans, 52 Green Party members, 92 Libertarians, and 3,773 unaffiliated.


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