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Maryland voter guide: General election 2018

A woman places her purse at her feet as she prepares to vote at a polling place, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in Silver Spring, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON — Voters in Maryland head to the polls Nov. 6, weighing in on a historic choice for governor, and a number of House and Senate seats that could play a role in determining if Democrats nationwide retake control of Congress amid a “blue wave” forecast at the ballot box.



Here’s a recap of the key races to watch and helpful information for voters.

Voting

Polls: The polls open Nov. 6 at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Early voting: Early voting runs from Oct. 25 through Nov. 1. All early voting centers are open 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. To vote early, voters should go to an early voting center in their county. You can find a full list of early voting centers on the Maryland State Board of Elections website.

You can register to vote at any early voting center and vote that same day. You can also update your address, but you can’t change your party affiliation. 

Registration: It’s too late to register to vote online, but there is same-day voter registration at all early voting centers.

Polling place: You can look up your polling place on the Maryland State Board of Elections website. Your polling place may have changed since the last time you voted.

Absentee voting: Any Maryland voter can vote using an absentee ballot. You don’t need a reason to vote absentee. However, the deadline to request an absentee ballot varies depending on whether you want to receive your ballot via the mail or online.

If you want to receive your absentee ballot by mail, the deadline to get your request in is Oct. 30.

If you plan on downloading your absentee ballot from the Board of Elections website, you have until Nov. 2 to download it.

If you hand-deliver your completed absentee ballot, you have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to return it. If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day — Nov. 6, 2018.

Need a ride to the polls?

Ride-hailing company Uber is partnering with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works to give customers free rides to their polling places. Customers can also look up their polling place on the Uber app.

Where to find results: WTOP will have live results as they come in Tuesday night. Tune in on air and online.

What’s on the ballot

You can find a sample ballot for your county and precinct here.

If you’re not sure of your precinct, you can find it by using the Voter Lookup tool on the Maryland State Board of Elections website.

At the top of the ticket, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is hoping to become the first two-term Republican governor in Maryland in more than half a century

Ben Jealous, the former national president of the NAACP, is aiming to become the state’s first African-American governor.

In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1 and in a state where national Republican standard-bearer Donald Trump is recording low poll numbers, Hogan remains popular.

A Washington Post poll a month before the election showed Hogan leading Jealous among likely voters by 20 points — 58 percent to 38 percent. (The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 points.)

What’s been on the minds of Maryland voters in the weeks leading up to Election Day? Check out WTOP’s exclusive “Voter Voices” series.

Also on the ballot: Attorney general, Senate and House races

Also on the ballot are statewide races for attorney general. Democratic incumbent Brian Frosh, who’s running for his second term as attorney general, faces Republican challenger Craig Wolf, who had narrowed Frosh’s lead in the polls to fewer than 10 points in the month before Election Day.

Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, who’s running for his third term, faces Republican challenger Tony Campbell, a Towson University political science professor.

In the U.S. House, all eight congressional districts are up for grabs.

In the 6th District, Democrat David Trone, the multimillionaire co-founder of Total Wine and More, is facing off against defense consultant Amie Hoeber to retain control of the seat being vacated by Rep. John Delaney. (He said he’s running for president in 2020.)

Nationwide, Democrats are hoping for a “blue wave” to buoy their chances of retaking control of the House.

Maryland General Assembly seats up for grabs

All 47 seats in the Maryland State Senate and all 141 seats in the House of Delegate are on the ballot.

In both chambers of Maryland’s General Assembly, Democrats hold significant enough majorities currently to override Hogan’s vetoes. But what happens on Election Day could change that breakdown.

However, in the Senate, Republicans would need to flip just five seats to reverse that. And, in the House of Delegates, the margin is six seats.

Find more information about key races to watch here.

Locally, there are also competitive county executive races in several counties, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties.

In Montgomery County, the state’s most populous, voters are faced with a rare three-way race for county executive.

Former longtime Democratic Council member Nancy Floreen, who jumped in the race as an independent, is challenging Democratic Council member Marc Elrich, who won the Democratic primary in June by just 77 votes. Robin Ficker is running on the Republican ticket.

Statewide ballot measures

There are also statewide ballot measures to amend the state constitution.

Question 1 would ensure that casino revenues go to bolster public school funding. The measure is expected to add $125 million in additional school funding in 2020, eventually rising to an additional $500 million annually.

Question 2 would allow the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation allowing same-day voter registration on Election Day. Current law allows same-day registration only during early voting.


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