*The following information was compiled and written by Councilmember Martha Wells of ward 6.
This year’s General Election will be definitely different. Between the pandemic and challenges to our election process and Postal Services, it is critical that each of us does three things over the next few weeks:
- Be sure you are registered to vote: You must register by October 13, 2020 to be eligible to vote. Maryland's Board of Election's Voter Lookup site will tell you if you are registered to vote in Prince George’s County. If you are not registered, you can register on their website, or email Martha Wells, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Verrill at email@example.com. Both residents are County-authorized Voter Registrars.
- Obtain your mail-in ballot: You must request a mail-in ballot. The Board of Elections has mailed request forms to all registered voters in late August, or you can request a ballot online if you registered to vote after August. Fill out your form and return it to the Board of Elections by mail no later than October 20. Pleasebe sure to request that your ballot be mailed to you. If you print your own ballot, it cannot be scanned, and an election worker will transfer your votes from your ballot to a machine-readable one. There is a possibility that this will not be done correctly, and there is no review of the accuracy of transcription of your information. Remember to ask for a mailed ballot and do this as soon as possible.
- Vote: Complete your ballot and return it: Voting by mail (or receiving a mail-in ballot and dropping it off in-person at a designated secure Board of Elections drop-off box) will be the easiest and physically safest way to vote. Once you receive the ballot, make sure to read the instructions carefully and follow all the directions. Your signature will be needed, but you will not sign the ballot itself.
2 Ways to Return Your Ballot
- Take it to one of the secure ballot drop off locations in Prince George's County. The closest one to University Park is located at the The Pavillion at University of Maryland Xfinity Center located at 8500 Paint Branch Drive in College Park beginning October 26. You can also take it directly to the Board of Elections offices located at 1100 Mercantile Lane, Suite 115A in Largo. The drop boxes will be available through Tuesday, November 3rd. Your ballot must be dropped off by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3rd.
- You can also mail the ballot in, but be sure to allow plenty of time for it to arrive to be counted. The envelope must be postmarked on or before general election day (November 3, 2020).
Early Voting and Election Day Voting
Voting will be available at a limited number of voting centers throughout the County. No voting center will be open in University Park. You may vote at any of the Prince George's County voting centers that will be open for early voting or election day voting. Early voting is available from Monday, October 26, through Monday, November 2, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Early voting nearby - The Pavillion at the University of Maryland Xfinity Center located at 8500 Paint Branch Drive, College Park
Voting on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3 is available from 7 a.m.–8 p.m. Be prepared as there may be long lines.
Election Day voting nearby - Northwestern High School located at 7000 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville.
Maryland State Board of Elections website
Prince George's County Board of Elections website
Elections are the bedrock of our democracy and every vote counts. Voting is our ONLY opportunity to choose those who will represent us for the next two to four years, and it is critical that we all participate in our elections for the health and strength of our nation. Please join me in voting for the candidates of your choice on November 3.