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Tips to Ensure Your Voting Rights

On October 27, 2016

Early Voting begins this week in the Presidential General Election Montgomery County’s Election Director, Margaret Jurgensen, encourages all registered voters to cast a ballot and has some suggestions for steps that you may take to help the voting process go smoothly and protect your right to vote.

Whether you chose to vote during Early Voting that begins October 27 and ends next Thursday, November 3, or at the polls on Tuesday, November 8, Jurgensen provides six suggestions for voters:

  1. BRING A SAMPLE BALLOT TO THE POLLING PLACE – Familiarize yourself with the contests and candidates on the ballot. Read your sample ballot carefully, make your selections in advance, and take it to the polling place to use as a guide – the voting process will be easier as a result. Your sample ballot also has answers to your questions about the voting process, including where to vote and how to operate the voting machines, and is printed in English and Spanish.
  2. BE ON TIME AND AVOID PEAK HOURS IF POSSIBLE – Early voting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and voting hours on Election Day are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Whether you vote early or on Election Day, you must be in line to cast your ballot by 8 p.m. If you can, avoid the rush and vote in the late morning or mid-afternoon.
  3. IF YOU VOTE ON ELECTION DAY, KNOW YOUR ASSIGNED POLLING PLACE – On Election Day, find your polling place by checking the sample ballot mailed to your home, visit the official polling place locator at www.777vote.org, or call the Montgomery County Board of Elections at 240-777-VOTE. You are only registered to vote at the polling place that serves the precinct where you live. Going to the wrong polling place can lengthen your time at the polling place and cause longer lines.
  4. IF YOU CHOOSE TO VOTE EARLY, CHECK THE WAIT TIME PRIOR TO LEAVING YOUR HOME OR OFFICE – Wait times at each of the ten Early Voting Centers in Montgomery County are updated in real time at www.777vote.org. 
  5. ID MAY BE REQUIRED – First-time voters in Montgomery County may be required to show proper identification such as a Maryland driver’s license or official document including your name and address. It may be helpful to bring your voter registration card or sample ballot, but it is not required to vote.
  6. IF YOU NEED HELP, ASK – If you have a question or problem at the polls, do not hesitate to ask for assistance. Election officials are trained to answer questions about the voting process and assist voters with physical disabilities. The ballot is available in both English and Spanish. Voters may also bring their own interpreter to the polling place to help with the voting process. If you make a mistake on your ballot, notify the election official immediately so that you may have a new ballot issued.

For more information, call 240-777-VOTE, visit www.777vote.org, our mobile friendly website at m.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections, the Maryland State Board of Elections’ website at http://elections.state.md.us, or follow the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Facebook or Twitter.

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