Maryland Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated June 27, 2014
Military and Overseas voters should visit FVAP.gov. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Important Deadlines

  • Voter Registration Form: Postmarked 21 days before the election
  • Absentee Ballot Application:  Received by the Tuesday before Election Day (if you want to receive your ballot by mail or fax); received by the Friday before Election day (if you want to download your ballot from the state website)
  • Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 8:00 PM on election day (in person). Postmarked by election day and received by 10:00 a.m. on the 2nd Friday after the election (by mail)

How to vote by absentee ballot

Register to vote

Recommended: Use our Voter Registration Tool.  Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the address printed on the form.

If you have a Maryland state ID, you can register to vote online.

You can also use the Maryland Voter Registration Form.  Mail your completed form to your County Board of Elections.

Verify your voter registration

It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot.  If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost your voter registration card. You don't actually need it to vote.

Make sure you're eligible to vote by absentee ballot

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in Maryland, but you must swear an oath that is returned with your voted ballot that you "will be absent or unable to vote in person in the election." If you will not be absent or are able to vote in person in the election, you should plan on voting at your polling place on election day.

Apply for your absentee ballot

Maryland allows you to request an absentee ballot online using the Maryland online Voter Registration & Absentee Ballot Application system. (To complete the process online, you'll need a Maryland state ID card. If you don't have one, the site provides links to download the printable form.)

You can also use the Maryland Absentee Ballot Application form that we created.

Receive, complete and return your absentee ballot

Fill out your absentee ballot, sign where indicated, and mail or hand-deliver your voted ballot to your County Board of Elections

If you are disabled, unable to write, or unable to read the ballot, you may ask someone else to help you with your absentee ballot.  The following people cannot help you with your ballot: a candidate whose name is on the ballot; your boss; or anyone who works for your Union. 

The person who helps you complete your absentee ballot must execute a certification and include that certification with the completed ballot.  Contact your County Board of Elections for details on this process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to provide ID when I register to vote in Maryland?

No, but first-time voters must provide ID before voting for the first time in person or by absentee ballot. If you'd like, you can submit your ID with your voter registration form instead.  Acceptable forms of ID include: a copy of a current and valid photo ID, such as a Maryland driver's license; MVA-issued ID card; student photo ID card; or an employee photo ID. If you don't have a photo ID you can submit a copy of a current utility bill; bank statement; government check; paycheck or; other government document that shows the your name and address.

Do I need to provide ID when I vote by absentee ballot in Maryland?

You do not need to provide ID if you have already voted in Maryland at least once.  If are voting for the first time in Maryland, and you did not include ID with your voter registration application, you must include a copy of your ID with your absentee ballot application.  Acceptable forms of ID include: a copy of a current and valid photo ID, such as a Maryland driver's license; MVA-issued ID card; student photo ID card; or an employee photo ID. If you don't have a photo ID you can submit a copy of a current utility bill; bank statement; government check; paycheck or; other government document that shows the your name and address.

Can I return my voted absentee ballot to a polling place in Maryland?

Absolutely not.  You must mail or hand deliver your voted ballot to your County Board of Elections. Do NOT take your voted absentee ballot to the polls on election day. A voted absentee ballot turned in at the polls will not be counted.

I need a Maryland emergency absentee ballot.  Help!

Mailed or faxed absentee ballot applications are due the Tuesday before the election.  After this date, you may request an emergency absentee ballot if one of the following conditions arises:

  • Your job will prevent you from voting in person
  • You suffer a suddent illness or accident that prevents you from voting in person
  • An immediate member of your family passes away or suffers a serious illness

Requests for emergency absentee ballots must be made in person at your County Board of Elections.  You may designate an agent to pickup and, if necessary, return the voted ballot.  If you have any questions about obtaining an emergency absentee ballot, please contact your County Board of Elections.

Is permanent absentee voter status available in Maryland?

Maryland does not have a permanent absentee list. If you wish to vote by absentee ballot, you must apply for an absentee ballot each primary and general election cycle.

Can I vote in person before the election in Maryland?

Yes. Check out our Early Voting page for details.

Additional Information

State Election Website: http://www.elections.state.md.us/
Email: info@elections.state.md.us
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines. 

 

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