When it’s all said and done, the most important questions looming over today are about who will lead the free world and craft new laws for your city, state and country. However, Election Day isn’t always straightforward, especially if you’re stuck at work late, have children to supervise or are an overeager user of social media.
Here are some questions you may have about what’s allowed at the polls today.
Question: “Can I take a picture of myself while voting?”
Answer: No. Unlike nearby D.C. and Virginia, Maryland doesn’t permit the use of any electronic devices inside polling stations. Sadly, just because your favorite celebrity or your friends further south can snap a picture of themselves while voting doesn’t mean you can.
However, the state has been trying to make up for the lack of selfie fanfare. The Maryland Board of Elections has been sending members of its outreach team out to polling places around the state during early voting with a life-sized picture frame decorated with the Maryland flag design. They’ll be back today take your picture where it’s legally allowed to give you a little fun memorabilia beyond just a sticker to take home. The Capital spoke with elections board personnel about why they’re doing it.
Question: “Can I register today if I forgot?”
Answer: Sadly, no. The voter registration deadline was Oct. 18. If you were planning to submit an absentee ballot, you needed to be registered and have already requested one by Nov. 1.
Question: “Can I bring my kids with me into the polling station?”
Answer: Go for it. Maryland law allows you to bring up to two children with you, as long as they’re not running wild or interfering with anyone voting.
Question: “I don’t have a proper Maryland ID on me. Can I still vote?”
Answer: If you’re from out of state but have successfully gotten permission from your local elections board to vote in Maryland, or if you’ve simply misplaced your ID in recent hours, the day isn’t lost. You can bring a copy of a utility bill, bank statement or a government document from within the last three months to show you live here.
Question: “Can I bring my filled-out practice ballot into the polling station with me?”
Answer: Definitely. In fact, Baltimore City Board of Elections chief Armistead Jones said on a recent phone call that he encourages it to cut down on the wait times. The people behind you in line will be quietly thanking you.
Question: “I’m going to be somewhere else in Baltimore or in Maryland today. Can I vote there instead?”
Answer: No. You’ll need to find a way to get back closer to home to cast your ballot. Click here if you need to find your assigned polling station. It should be pretty close to home.
Question: “I’m swamped at work. How long do I have to make it out to the polls?”
Answer: Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will stay open until 8 p.m. If you can’t hurry things up or get out to vote during lunch, you’ll have a few more hours after you get out of your 9-to-5 to go get it done.