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Early Voting Resumes Wednesday With Extended Hours

To make up for lost time in early voting because of Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced that early voting will take place through Friday with extended hours at the polls.

Early voting will resume Wednesday in Maryland, and polls will be open with extended hours through Friday, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Tuesday.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to make up for time lost due to Hurricane Sandy. Early voting was cancelled for Monday and Tuesday, and not originally schedule for Friday. Early voting hours were originally 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

“Anyone that’s waiting in line by 9 p.m. will be able to vote,” O’Malley said during a press conference at Maryland Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters in Reisterstown.

Early voting will take place in Garrett County as well, where the governor said the state may have to plow roads and resort to backup power sources.

jag October 31, 2012 at 08:06 PM
LOL, PerryHallParent, the schools are closed on election day so there are, you know, places to vote! Not to mention it never takes multiple hours to vote on election day (personally, I've never waited for more than 10 minutes), never mind the fact there is a full week of early voting so you can do it any time. And, lastly, there is absentee voting available to everyone! Anyone who doesn't vote and tries to make an excuse about it is flat pathetic. Period.
Hank Staniszewski October 31, 2012 at 08:36 PM
With absentee voting you have to sigh an affadavit that you don't have access to a voting poll on available days. That would in fact be a lie, if the issues are long lines or long waits in the cold. You would in fact have to lie unless you were in fact out of town. Need to speed up the process - more machines or ballot boxes / more check in spots / more parking places / or more polling places. I've read the other locations are just as backed up. I have notified the PG county board of elections who've claimed they added more machines, but there must be another bottleneck they can't or won't deal with. They offered absentee balloting if I would go to their offices on trade center but I would have to sign an affadavit and lie - not sure if my ballot would in fact count.
Joe October 31, 2012 at 08:41 PM
"With absentee voting you have to sigh an affadavit that you don't have access to a voting poll on available days. " That is not true. Anyone can request and use an absentee ballot in Maryland and need no reason at all to do so. the ballot envelope has an affidavit but merely states that you are who you say you are and that the name to the left of that is in fact your name. http://www.elections.state.md.us/voting/absentee.html
jag October 31, 2012 at 09:01 PM
...no, you don't have to be "out of town." It's far broader than that: you "will be absent or unable to vote in person in the election," FYI. But yes, it sounds like you should just vote in person. There wasn't much of a line this AM (5 mins., maybe, in busy DTSS) and the wait times for most all county locations is currently only 10 mins, if that. They even put all the info online and update it hourly so it's as easy as humanly possible to vote (http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Elections/index2.html). Plus early voting hours and dates have been extended. There are huge chunks of days that I'm sure exactly no one will be voting. There aren't enough people in the state to fill all the polls for the 90 hours+ that they'll have been open for by the end of election night. Just check the web or do an old-fashioned phone call and you won't have to run the risk of having to park down the block.
Joe October 31, 2012 at 09:49 PM
"It's far broader than that: you "will be absent or unable to vote in person in the election," " Again not true! You need no reason at all except you want to vote that way. I posted the link to the Election Board site but some refuse to learn. For the learning impaired "Who may vote by absentee ballot? Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot." That quote you made jag "will be absent or unable to vote in person in the election," is nowhere on the page. It WAS like that until a few years ago when it all changed.
Joe October 31, 2012 at 09:50 PM
"It's far broader than that: you "will be absent or unable to vote in person in the election," Again not true! You need no reason at all except you want to vote that way. I posted the link to the Election Board site but some refuse to learn. "Who may vote by absentee ballot? Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot." That quote you made jag is nowhere on the page. It WAS like that until a few years ago when it all changed.
Janet Metzner October 31, 2012 at 10:29 PM
I think you'll have a long wait no matter which way you choose—early voting or on Election Day Nov. 6. I parked in the Home Depot lot when I went. Remember, the state has added a day—Friday, and have extended the hours—to make up for the days the polls were closed due to Hurricane Sandy.
Other Tim November 01, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Just voted at Honeygo. Got there at 8:45, left at 9. Short line. One of the judges said there were a few people in line at 8 this morning, but by 9 there was no line.
S Mer November 01, 2012 at 04:09 AM
After 5 attempts over the course of three days, I decided to stick it out and stand in line to vote at the West County Library because this trip I actually got a parking place. Got there at 8:30 PM on Wednesday night with at least 100 people in front of me. Costumes were optional. I did not get out of there until 10:30 PM. There are only 12 (NOT KIDDING) machines at that location. How were the calculations done to estimate the number of machines required? I think someone forgot to factor in the extra time required for this unprecedented ballot. The people in line who had not looked at a sample ballot and were not prepared held up machines for 20 minutes or more. If we have to continue to use voting machines, then how about a couple of fast lane EZ-VOTE machines for those who come in with their sample ballot marked and ready to vote and go? Set a timer!! How difficult is it to make the voting screens and sample ballot match, too? If the state can pony up funds to pay for 3700 slot machines, don't you think they could purchase a few more voting machines? Very poor planning for this election. Inadequate space, shameful lack of parking, and inadequate equipment. Kudos to the considerate and efficient volunteers working the polls. They are doing the best they can with a very poor setup at West County Library. And a big round of applause for those folks who actually came out to take advantage of the early vote and stood in lines for hours in order to do it.
Joe McCarthy November 01, 2012 at 05:50 AM
"Under Maryland law,any eligible voter can now vote early by mail",thats right on the form! Where do people get this information?
Corbin Dallas Multipass November 01, 2012 at 08:19 AM
http://www.elections.state.md.us/laws_and_regs/documents/Election%20Law%202011.pdf Joe: "Anyone can request and use an absentee ballot in Maryland and need no reason at all to do so. the ballot envelope has an affidavit but merely states that you are who you say you are and that the name to the left of that is in fact your name." The above linked election Law pdf has the following language: "The absentee ballot oath should track the language of Article I, § 3, of the Maryland Constitution that is, the voter should be required to swear or affirm that he or she will be absent or will be unable to vote in person on election day. 92 Op. Att’y Gen. 80 (July 18, 2007)." I'm not sure how you reconcile the difference between what the law requires in terms of language and what you've stated in your comment.
Joe November 01, 2012 at 11:54 AM
I have the absentee ballot envelope in my hand. The back has the OATH OF ABSENTEE VOTER. All it says it are you who you say you are and does your name match the name on the envelope to the left of the signature. I have provided the UP TO DATE BoE site that apparently you didn't read. Here it is again for you. http://www.elections.state.md.us/voting/absentee.html At the very top of the page it says "Who may vote by absentee ballot? Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot." Any more argument against the BoE should be directed to them. So Corbin, I'm not sure how you reconcile the difference between what the law requires in terms of language and what you've stated in your comment and what is actually the law and what is on the absentee ballot envelope.
Joe November 01, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Corbin Dallas Multipass, can you find ANY wording in your own link that denies ANYONE the right to vote by absentee ballot? Any at all? NO.
Hank Staniszewski November 01, 2012 at 12:50 PM
My wife went to Bowie yesterday got in line at 6:45 and voted (opens at 8) and was out at 8:15. I asked her how the line was at 6PM when I wanted to go - hoping it would thin for Halloween. She asked someone who just left said it was 4 1/2 hours. My issue is I'm on call this week at work and to vote have to keep a pager, phone and PC available. If the line is over ~ 1/2 hour have to keep all that on me and if paged would have to leave. It just shouldn't be that long. Voted early many other places and the longest was less than 20 minutes. And you could park.
mk November 01, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Absentee voting by choice is protected by the Maryland state constitution. Various localities wordings of the Oath of Absentee Voter not withstanding. Maryland constitution Article I section 3 specifically contains the wording: "or for voting by qualified voters who might otherwise choose to vote by absentee ballot," and has since at least 1978. Sorry, neither local municipalities, nor opinions by the state attorney general in 2007 have the power to over-ride the state constitution. If the wording of the oath for your localtiy bothers you, contact your local officials and point out the conflict with the State constitution.
Stacey Schantz November 02, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Voted at Honeygo last night. 90+ minutes in line. Not counting the 20+ minutes to make a left turn into the park, the way they had lanes blocked off in the north bound side made it impossible for cars to make the left turn into the park! I'm grateful for early voting, but seems with the turnout they could have more than 14 stations for voting. Either way, just happy to have excercised my right to vote.
Melissa M November 02, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I just voted in Harford Co at McFaul. I was in and out in 30 minutes. (including parking!)
Hank Staniszewski November 02, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Decided to vote after work yesterday at Landover (PG County sports facility near FEDEX FIELD). Got there around 4 PM - Parking for non-handicap tag voters was at FEDEX field about 1/4 mile walk. Got in line - looked to be around 100 people to the door. After 50 Minutes got inside the building to a long hallway that led to the lobby. Around 150 -200 people in that line. Another hour. Third line serpentined in lobby - about 50 minutes. 4th line outside voting room - 15 minutes. Voting room lined up to get vote pass and sign for pass and ticket. Waited in line for ballot another 10 minutes. Voting took < 5 minutes. There were 24 machines with 1 disabled. Total Nearly 4 hours. Left just before 7:40 PM. The line was longer outside than when I started. To vote this election, counting driving to Bowie Library and being unable to park 3 times for ~ 2-3 hours driving and the over 4 hours in lines to vote - the early voting took nearly 7 hours. I've never spent in 40 years of voting over 45 minutes in line in 4 other states. The only advantage to the Landover voting spot was 3 hour of the line was indoors and there was paring - 10 minutes walk away. I can only surmise they really DONT want citizens to vote here.
Calique November 02, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I wonder if people realize that Tuesday the 6th is the normal voting day? There is no reason to wait for 4 hours. On Tuesday, ALL polling places will be open, not just the few that have been open for early voting. For example, in Anne Arundel County, there are **5** early voting places. On Tuesday, there will be (by my own count from the Board of Elections website) ***194*** polling places open. It wasn't so long ago that early voting wasn't even a thing... we all voted on Election Day, Tuesday, which is why there are 194 places. I am sure I will probably have to wait (4 years ago, I waited about 10 minutes at the peak time of 5:30pm), but I am CERTAIN that I will not have to wait for 4 hours. Early voting was designed as a convenience for those who are unable to vote on Election Tuesday---not as a be-all, end-all time to vote.
Christopher Kidwell November 02, 2012 at 04:51 PM
People should realize that this is only for early voting.
Chris November 02, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Why are people voting early? If you are choosing to vote early and complain about the lines can you not plan to vote on the day when the infrastructure is setup to handle a larger number of voters?
Calique November 02, 2012 at 05:38 PM
EXACTLY, Chris!!!!!! At this point, it's almost a bragging, martyr thing about who waited how many hours. For heaven's sake, WHY are you people doing this to yourselves? I feel for the folks who NEED to vote early who are suffering because of all the people who WANT to vote early so they can boast about how long they waited! I hope EVERYONE who normally votes at my polling place wasted hours of their lives voting early so on Tuesday I can just walk in and walk out.
NottinghamFamily November 02, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I voted today and found the Honeygo facility very organized and efficient. I waited for about an hour and ten minutes and it was worth it for me. However, I didn't even think about complaining since I decided to take the opportunity since I had off today.
Tim November 02, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Yeah I'm pretty confident I won't wait more then 10-15 minutes on Tuesday. Been that way for years, election lineup regardless. Maybe I just luck into the right time each year
Corbin Dallas Multipass November 02, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I don't see the bragging, martyr tone you're talking about. It just sounds like the idea of early voting's popularity was underestimated by the local/state election boards. For a lot of people, other days of the week besides Tuesdays are easier or more convenient days to vote, even if it takes more than an hour.
Tim Lemke (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 06:30 PM
In my conversations with voters, I sense there is a bit of anxiety about what you might encounter on Nov. 6. For some people, they may only be able to vote before or after work, so the window is limited. I think there is a general fear that by waiting until the final day, you run the risk of not getting a chance to vote at all. That said, I'd be stunned if the lines are this long on Election Day, because there are far more polling places open.
Jenni Pompi (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 06:41 PM
It took me about two hours to vote in Bowie yesterday. I actually found that people waiting in line were in great spirits and no one around me complained about the wait. I think that's because people who vote early often do so by choice - they choose to stand in those lines. There was a real sense of camaraderie and excitement.
Paul Amirault November 02, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I vote in Kingsville, during the day Tuesday it will take me longer to avoid all of the handouts then I will wait in line to vote. Hands in pockets!
Hank Staniszewski November 02, 2012 at 06:45 PM
My situation is that I'm on call and on any day may be in one of 4 locations 1-1.5 hours from home. I've missed voting on election days because of that, Early voting gives me a chance to make sure I don't have to miss. In Texas they had early voting with no lines. Here for some reason early voting seems to be a GOTV goal for some compaigns. I resisted 4 times becaus of the long outside line in BOWIE and NO parking - jammed solid. The Landover line looked much smaller, If I had known it was over 3 hours I would have passed and taken my chances on election day. After the initial hour in line there was no indication how much longer it would be despite asking the 'event staff' there who didn't understand why someone would be concerned about time. I did get paged in line and was nearly requried to leave, but the issue was able to be handled by phone this time. I regret the wait, the time wasted and that a means to allow voters an alternative has been co-opted to show a strong initial surge for a candidate or campaign wasting time for a lot of people. Having gone thru it I estimated there were 600-700 people in the line waiting nearly 4 hours. What a waste of time and resources for a society.
Needaname November 02, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I voted at Towson University on Thursday morning. I arrived at 7:45 am. There where 7 people sitting comfortably in the lobby waiting for the Poll to open. I was out by 8:15 am.

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