EASTON — The start of in-person voting in this year’s presidential election is at hand.
Early voting is being held from Monday, Oct. 26 through Monday, Nov. 2. The polls will be open on all days — including Saturday and Sunday — from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The early voting polling place here is the Easton firehouse, 315 Aurora Park Drive, Easton. That also is the location of one of two drop boxes for mail-in ballots; the other is the Talbot County Board of Elections office, 215 Bay St., Easton.
While Tuesday, Oct. 20 was the last day to request a mail-in ballot, completed ballots can still be dropped in the mail or a drop box.
On Election Day, Nov. 3, there will be four polling places open in the county: the Easton firehouse, the Easton High School cafeteria, the St. Michael’s High School gymnasium and the Tilghman firehouse.
Talbot County Board of Elections Director Jeri Cook said would-be Election Day voters can cast a ballot at any one of the four locations they choose. In past elections, voters went to the polls in their designated precinct. She added that voters who had requested a mail-in ballot will be allowed to vote in person instead, but they’ll only be able to vote a provisional ballot.
For those casting a ballot by mail or drop box, which the state and Gov. Larry Hogan have been pushing due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Cook reminds voters to make sure they sign the oath on the ballot, date it and print their name as required.
Those who want to vote in person during early voting should keep in mind that with one polling location, it might get busy.
Election officials recommend voters review their sample ballots before coming to the polls, so they have in mind already how they are going to vote. If they need assistance, officials will be on hand to help.
“Talbot County election judges are ready to assist voters for the 2020 Presidential General Election,” Cook said.
Voter registration reopens during early voting and again on Election Day. Those who wish to register should come prepared to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Those wishing to register should have with them at the polls a valid — unexpired — driver’s license or government ID, utility bill or other documentation verifying residency.
Among the changes in this year’s election is how mail-in ballots are being canvassed. In previous elections, absentee ballots were counted after Election Day. This year, the state authorized local boards of elections to begin canvassing mail-in ballots beginning Oct. 1.
Ballot canvassing is open to the public, but this year that is being offered through livestream. On its website, the Talbot County Board of Elections is posting the YouTube links for the livestreams.
While mail-in ballot canvassing is underway throughout the state, results cannot be posted from those tallies until the polls close on Election Day, Nov. 3.
The websites for the Talbot County Board of Elections and the Maryland State Board of Elections offer a wealth of information for voters. Go to www.talbotcountymd.gov/index.php?page=Election_Board or www.elections.maryland.gov for more.
Jessica Duerstine contributed to this report.