How to successfully Vote-by-Mail

The Montgomery County Board of Elections would like to remind voters this election will be a “Vote-by-Mail” election. This means all eligible voters will be mailed a ballot in mid-May.

Voters who are registered with the Republican or Democratic party will be able to cast their vote in that party’s primary elections for President, Delegates to the Nominating Conventions, the U.S. House of Representatives and Judge of the Circuit Court. The candidates who won each party’s nomination will appear on the general election ballot in November. Voters who are not affiliated with one of the major political parties may only cast a ballot in the Board of Education contests.

The Election Board encourages all registered voters to cast their ballot by mail as soon as possible and has some suggestions for steps that you may take to help the voting process go smoothly and protect your right to vote.

  1. OPEN VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT PACKET AND READ MATERIALS CAFEFULLY – Read the contests on the ballot and the information and forms sent with it carefully. Section 203 of the 1975 Voting Rights Act requires that voting materials and ballots in Montgomery County are printed in English and Spanish.
  2. VOTE YOUR BALLOT – Use a black or blue ball point pen.
  3. ID MAY BE REQUIRED – Most voters do not need to provide ID to vote. Some voters need to verify their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security Number on an enclosed Request for Maryland Driver’s License or Social Security Number. A small percentage of first-time voters in Montgomery County may be required to submit a copy of proper identification such as a Maryland Driver’s License, Permit, MVA ID or official document including your name and address. You do not need to provide ID unless the words “ID REQUIRED” appear on your return envelope.
  4. IF YOU NEED HELP, SIGN AND RETURN THE ENCLOSED CERTIFICATION OF PERSON ASSISTING VOTER – If you need help voting your ballot, the person helping you must mark the ballot according to your wishes and cannot make an effort to influence your vote. You may not be assisted by your employer or an agent of your employer or union, the person helping you must complete the Certification of Person Assisting Absentee Voter. This certification must be returned with your voted ballot.
  5. USE REPLY ENVELOPE PROVIDED TO RETURN BALLOT – Place voted ballot into Postage Paid return envelope. Include a copy of your ID only if it is required along with any forms that apply to you, such as a Certification of Person Assisting Absentee Voter.
  6. SIGN, PRINT NAME & DATE VOTER OATH – Sign and date the Oath of Absentee Voter on the back of the return envelope or it will not be counted. To protect the health of election workers, we encourage you to seal the envelope with a wet sponge or cloth. You can also use a piece of tape. “Whether healthy or sick, please don’t lick.”
  7. RETURN YOUR BALLOT – No postage is necessary. We strongly encourage all voters to fill out their ballot and mail it as soon as possible. Please do not wait to return your ballot. You can find the nearest USPS collection box or Post Office by texting the word “BOX” to 77788 or by visiting https://tools.usps.com/find-location.htm.

Voters who do not want to use U.S. Mail may use a Board of Elections drop box at one of the following locations between Thursday, May 21 and Tuesday, June 2. Voters who wait to drop off their ballot until Election Day should use a Board of Elections drop box to prevent any delay in having your ballot postmarked. If you use U.S. Mail, your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday, June 2. If you use a drop box, your ballot must be in the box by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections currently has a 24/7 drop box at its office in Gaithersburg. Drop boxes at the following additional sites will be installed by Thursday, May 21:

  • Montgomery County Board of Elections (currently available 24/7), 18753 N. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg
  • Silver Spring Civic Building (to be installed by Thursday, May 21), One Veterans Place, Silver Spring
  • Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center (to be installed by Thursday, May 21), 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville
  • Wheaton Library & Community Recreation Center (to be installed by Thursday, May 21), 11701 Georgia Avenue, Wheaton
  • Activity Center at Bohrer Park (to be installed by Thursday, May 21), 506 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg
  • Germantown Community Recreation Center (to be installed by Thursday, May 21), 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown
  • Rockville City Hall (currently available 24/7), 111 Maryland Avenue Rockville

As a public health measure, the State Board of Elections has ordered Montgomery County to reduce its number of Election Day polling places from 238 to only four. If voters who can vote by mail choose instead to vote in person at these sites, it will create very long lines and endanger the health and safety of voters, staff and volunteers. The Montgomery County Board of Elections asks that all voters please return the ballot they received in the mail. Those voters who cannot vote by mail should expect long lines at one of these four locations on Election Day and shall comply with the directive of the Governor regarding wearing a face mask or other face covering:

  • Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring
  • Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville
  • Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg
  • Germantown Community Recreation Center, 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown

For more information, call 240-777-8500, or visit www.777vote.org or the Maryland State Board of Elections’ website at http://elections.maryland.gov, or follow the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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