Maryland voters will head to the polls in less than three weeks for a consequential Nov. 8 midterm election headlined by key races at the state and local levels.
At the state level, Maryland has a pivotal gubernatorial race between Democrat Wes Moore and Republican Dan Cox. There are also five referendums on the ballot, including legalizing recreational marijuana.
In Prince George’s County, there are 11 county council seats up for grabs, as well as four seats on the Board of Education.
These critical races heighten the importance of voter turnout in the county.
Voter turnout is typically lower in midterm elections compared to presidential cycles. At the University of Maryland, over 71 percent of eligible students voted in 2020 — a presidential election year — compared to just 46 percent in the 2018 midterms.
Here is a guide for temporary or permanent residents of Maryland on how, when and where to vote in College Park in the upcoming elections.
Determining your residency
Out-of-state students at this university can register to vote in Maryland as a temporary resident or vote in their home state, not both. Out-of-state students who want to vote in their home state can request an absentee ballot from their state’s election office.
Registering to vote
While the deadline to register to vote online was Oct. 18, voters can still register to vote in person during early voting or on election day.
From Oct. 27 through Nov. 3, you can visit any early voting center here and register to vote. The closest location to College Park is the College Park Community Center, located at 5051 Pierce Ave. Each early voting center is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In addition, you can also register to vote on election day itself at polling locations across Maryland. You can find your assigned polling location and voter registration status by visiting the Maryland Board of Elections voter lookup.
Voting in person
There are two options for voting in person in the upcoming election: early voting and election day voting.
Regardless of which option you choose, you must vote in your assigned polling station — or stations — based on your residential address to receive the correct ballot based on your legislative district. You can find your assigned polling station and your legislative districts here.
Early voting in Maryland begins on Oct. 27 and continues through Nov. 3. There are 89 early voting centers in Maryland, including 13 in Prince George’s County. A comprehensive list of all early voting locations can be found here. The only early voting location in College Park is the College Park Community Center. Each polling center will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Election day voting will occur on Nov. 8. Similar to early voting, you must vote at your assigned polling station. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Voting by mail
To vote by mail instead of in person, the first step is to request a mail-in ballot.
Ballots can be received in hard copy form through mail or fax, or can be downloaded and printed from the state’s website.
There are three options to request a mail-in ballot.
First, if you have a Maryland driver’s license or an MVA-issued ID, you can fill out an application online here.
The second option is to complete the mail-in ballot request form and mail, fax or email it to your local board of elections. The Prince George’s County Local Board of Elections is located in Largo at 1100 Mercantile Lane, Suite 115A and their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The complete list of Maryland Local Board of Elections can be found here.
You can also complete the form in person at your local board of elections office.
There are two deadlines to keep in mind when requesting a mail-in ballot. If you choose to receive your mail-in ballot via mail or fax, your request must be received by Nov. 1. If you would like to receive your mail-in ballot via the internet, your request must be received by Nov. 4.
These are deadlines for your request to reach the board of elections office, not for postmarking, so send in your requests with enough time to meet the deadline. You can check the status of your mail-in request by visiting the Maryland Board of Elections voter lookup.
There are two options for returning your completed mail-in ballot. First, you can drop off your ballot in-person at an early voting center, an election day polling station or a ballot drop-off box. The closest ballot drop-off box to campus is at the College Park Community Center and the complete list of drop-off locations can be found here. These ballots must be dropped off by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8.
The second option is to mail your ballot to your local board of elections. The ballot must be postmarked on or before Nov. 8 and must be received by 10 a.m. on Nov. 8.