Guess how many registered voters actually voted in the 2013 primary election for mayor and aldermen? You probably guessed too high. According to the city’s website, out of approximately 38,546 Annapolis residents, only 19,095 were registered voters and just 22.6% voted. In the general election more Annapolitans turned out to vote---33.5%. Annapolis deserves better.
The September 19 primaries will decide many of the outcomes for the November 7 general election, so we urge you to vote in both. To learn about the candidates, please visit the Action Annapolis website and click on Annapolis Elections. You’ll find each candidate’s responses to our questionnaire as well as write-ups about the candidates for alderman.
To make sure that you can vote, just follow these simple steps.
STEP 1: REGISTER TO VOTE
To register to vote, or to check to see if you’re already registered, go here; or call Regina Eldridge, the City Clerk, at 410-263-7929; or call the county at 410-222-6600.
You do not have to choose a party affiliation when you register, and party affiliation does not matter in the November general election. However, only voters registered with a particular party may vote in the primary to choose that party’s candidates for the general election. So only registered Democrats can vote to choose the Democratic candidates, and only registered Republicans can vote to choose the Republican candidates. If you are registered with any other party or as an independent, you have disenfranchised yourself and cannot vote in the primary on September 19.
If you are not a registered Democrat or Republican and want to vote in the primary, register yourself as a member of whichever party you want to vote for by August 21. After the primary, you are free to change your affiliation again and vote for the candidate of either party in the general election.
STEP 2: KNOW WHERE TO VOTE
Each of the eight wards in the city has two polling places. After August 21 (the deadline for registering for the primary election), each registered voter will be sent a specimen primary ballot, listing the candidates and identifying the voter’s polling place. If you want to know your polling place ahead of time, you can call the Board of Elections at 410-263-7929.
Note that polling places for the 2017 city primary and general elections may not be the same as those used for state elections, and some have changed since the 2013 elections.
What if you’re out of town or sick? You may vote with an absentee ballot if you cannot vote in person on September 19. Criteria and applications for absentee ballots (either regular or emergency) are located here.
Regular absentee ballots must be mailed to the City of Annapolis Board of Supervisors of Elections, P. O. Box 788, Annapolis, MD 21404 by September 12 and be received by September 15. You can hand deliver the ballots to the Board of Elections at 160 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD on or before September 15. Emergency absentee ballots must be hand-delivered by the voter or an agent by September 19.