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How to vote early in Maryland, Virginia and D.C.

Friday - 10/12/2012, 7:29am  ET

Max Smith, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Voters looking to avoid lines on Election Day can cast ballots early, but that is easier to do in some counties than others.

In Maryland and D.C., registered voters are allowed to cast their ballots during the early voting period.

In Maryland, early voting runs Oct.27 to Nov. 1. Early voting centers will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day except Sunday. On Sunday, voting centers will be open noon to 6 p.m.

Marjorie Roher, spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Board of Elections, says registered voters can cast a ballot at any voting center in their county.

"If you happen to live in Damascus, but you happen to be down in Silver Spring, you can go into the Silver Spring Civic Building and you can vote there during early voting hours," Roher says.

The District begins early voting Oct. 22 at One Judiciary Square, and one location in each ward will have early voting starting Oct.27. Early voting in the District ends Nov. 3. Polls are open 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and there will be no voting on Sundays.

In Virginia, early voting is considered in-person absentee voting, which means residents need a valid reason to cast a vote early. Reasons include being out of town on Election Day, having a disability or illness that prevents individuals from going to the polls on Election Day or having a workday and commute that add up to 11 or more hours of the 13 hours that polls are open.

Eligible absentee voters in Virginia can fill out an absentee ballot application at designated early voting centers. See locations here:

Voting deadlines:

The deadline to register to vote or to change an address is Oct. 15 in Virginia and Oct. 16. The deadline to request an absentee ballot in both states is Oct. 30.

In Virginia, absentee ballots sent by mail must be received by the time polls close on Election Day - a postmark does not cut it.

The voter registration deadline has passed in Washington, but District residents are allowed to register at the polls during early voting, or on the day of the election.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)