This has been a long campaign season. But we are almost there, almost at Election Day. And while we may not know the final results on Election Night night in the race for the White House, voters will know that they have done their part in making their voice heard.
Presidential elections always get top billing. It is the top office in the country. But there are additional races and a pair of ballot questions that are very important as well this year.
This year’s election is certainly different than all those that came before. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been the leading factor in the changes made and the differences voters will see on Election Day.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. The polls will be open here from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The first change voters should be aware of is the reduced number of polling place that will be available in Kent County.
There will be six voting centers on Election Day: Cecil County Administration Building, Bohemia Manor High School, Elkton High School, North East High School, Perryville High School and Rising Sun High School.
Here’s the second important change: Voters can cast a ballot at any of those six locations. Previously, voters were directed to go to the polling place in their designated precinct in Cecil County. For instance, this year, if you are a Bohemia Manor resident who happens to be visiting friends in Rising Sun, you can cast your ballot in Rising Sun instead of having to drive back home to vote.
In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 and keep voters safe, the state greatly expanded the opportunities for absentee ballots. It has been universally available this election cycle as mail-in voting. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot passed Oct. 20.
Mail-in ballots can still be sent to the Cecil County Board of Elections. According to the Maryland State Board of Elections website, mail-in ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day, Nov. 3 and received at the local board of elections office by 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 13.
We urge mail-in voters to please make sure they allow plenty of time for the U.S. Postal Service to deliver their ballot prior to that deadline.
Another option would be to use either of the official and secure voting drop boxes. There are six such drop boxes around the county, again at the administration building or any of the county’s five high schools.
Early voting also is going on now, providing another alternative for casting a ballot. The polls for early voting are open every day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Monday, Nov. 2 at the county administration building.
For those who are not registered to vote but qualify, please take the time during early voting or on Election Day to register. Go to a voting center. Bring with you the necessary documentation to confirm your residency: a valid driver’s license, a pay stub, a utility bill, a bank statement or other official document bearing your name and current address.
“In addition to basic identifying information, federal law requires that you provide on your voter registration application a Maryland driver’s license number or MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) ID Card number or, if you do not have a Maryland driver’s license or MVA ID Card, the last four digits of your social security number. Your application will not be processed unless you provide this information or affirm, under penalty of perjury, that you do not have a Maryland driver’s license, MVA ID Card, or social security number,” the Maryland State Board of Elections website states.
Once you complete your registration, you can vote.
Be it for a mayor or the president, no matter what office is up for election, we believe in the importance of everyone who can casting a ballot. This year’s election offers so many different ways of making your voice heard and shaping the next four years of our nation’s leadership. Please vote.