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Early Voting in Maryland Breaks Records

More than 400,000 people voted during Maryland’s first four days of early voting, according to data released by the state on Sunday. I was one of them, waiting a few minutes in line at the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad station in Montgomery County, a suburb of Washington D.C. When I entered, a poll worker handed me the card pictured above, which is used to track how long voters might have to wait at early voting centers.

The entire process took about 12 minutes from the moment I got in line to when my ballot was processed by optical scanning equipment.

Maryland does not require ID, so voters who come to one of the early voting centers around the state give their name and then are asked for their address as well as their month and day of birth. That information is matched against a list of registered voters before a voter is given a ballot to complete.

The first two days of early voting, Oct. 27th and 28th, set turnout records for the state. A traditionally Democratic state at the presidential level, Maryland has seen occasional problems with voting, including long lines in Prince George's County in 2012. Prince George's has seen more than 68,000 early voters, the second-highest total in the state after Montgomery County's 74,000.

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Portrait of Derek Willis

Derek Willis

Derek Willis is a news applications developer at ProPublica, focusing on politics and elections.

About Electionland

ProPublica’s Electionland project covers problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Our coalition of newsrooms around the country are investigating issues related to voter registration, pandemic-related changes to voting, the shift to vote-by-mail, cybersecurity, voter education, misinformation, and more.

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