To be a registered voter in Howard County, you must meet the following requirements:
- County resident;
- United States citizen;
- At least 16 years of age (you may register to vote at 16 but cannot vote until at least 18 years of age by the date of the next general election);
- Not have been convicted of buying or selling votes;
- Not be under guardianship for mental disability or a court of competent jurisdiction has not specifically found by clear and convincing evidence that the individual cannot communicate, with or without accommodations, a desire to participate in the voting process;
- Not have been convicted of any felony unless:
- you have been pardoned.
- you have completed the court-ordered sentence imposed including parole and probation.
- A current bill, bank statement, government check, pay check, or other government document that shows your name and address.
How to Register to Vote
You may apply to become a registered voter:
- at a local election board office or at the State Board office;
- at a registration site administered by a local election board;
- by mail;
- when applying to the Motor Vehicle Administration for the issuance, renewal, or modification of a driver's license or identification card;
- when applying for services at a voter registration agency, such as:
- offices in Maryland which provide assistance;
- offices in Maryland which provide state-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to individuals with disabilities;
- public institutions of higher education in Maryland;
- United States post office
- with the assistance of a voter registration volunteer
You may also:
The completed Voter Registration Application (VRA) with an original signature must be returned to the election office; faxed or emailed applications for new voter registrations will not be accepted.
If you have previously registered to vote in Maryland or in any other state, please provide the name and address shown on your last registration.
For the 2016 Presidential Primary Election, the deadline to change your party affiliation is March 15, 2016. All party affiliation changes must be in writing and signed by the voter.
If a voter is required to provide identification information but fails to do so before voting, the voter will be issued a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot will only be counted if the voter is duly registered and provides the identification information before the canvassing of the provisional ballots occurs.
How to Obtain an Application
Voter registration applications can be obtained at the following locations:
- Howard County Board of Elections - by telephone or in person
- Local post offices
- Motor Vehicle Administration offices
- County municipal offices
- All public assistance offices
- All offices providing State-funded programs
- State Board of Elections (download the application online)
The following information is required to complete the registration application:
- Name, date of birth and gender,
- Residential address,
- Mailing address, if required in order to receive your voter notification card,
- One of the following:
- Maryland driver's license number,
- MVA ID card number - provide only if you do not have a valid Maryland driver's license number, or
- Social Security Number - provide at least the last 4 digits only if you do not have a valid Maryland driver's license number
Your application will not be processed unless you provide the above required ID information, or affirm, under penalty of perjury, that you do not have a Maryland driver's license, ID card, or Social Security number and provide one of the following:
- Student, employee, or military ID card,
- United States passport, or
- any other State or Federal government-issued ID card
Party affiliation is optional. If it is not provided, the default will be Unaffiliated.
When to Register
You may register to vote any time voter registration is open. Registration closes beginning at 9:00 pm on the 21st day preceding an election and remains closed until the 11th day after the election.
Generally, any voter registration application received when registration is closed will be held by the election office and processed when registration re-opens. Your registration will not become effective and you will not be eligible to vote until registration re-opens and you have received your Voter Notification Card (VNC).
Registration in Maryland is Permanent
As long as you remain a resident of the county and keep your address current with the election office, your voter registration in Maryland is permanent.
Voter Information Changes