Voter Registration

The deadline to register to vote for the 2020 Presidential General Election was Tuesday October 13, 2020.

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Voter Registration Eligibility

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:

  • call the Howard County election office at (410) 313-5820 and request a voter registration application be mailed to you;
  • register online using the Online Voter Registration (OLVR) website;
  • download a voter registration application from one of the following websites:

    Under Quick Links, click on Forms; click on Voter Registration and Registered Voters Lists and select the appropriate link.

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.

Party Affiliation

For the 2020 Presidential Primary Election, the deadline to change your party affiliation is Wednesday May 27, 2020. All party affiliation changes must be in writing and signed by the voter.

Provisional Ballots

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
  • Libraries
  • 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) - PDF)

Required Information

The following information is required to complete the voter registration application:

  • Name, date of birth, and gender (Male, Female, or Unspecified/Other);
  • Residential address (a PO Box or mailing facility address does not meet this requirement);
  • 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 number, ID card, or Social Security number and provide one of the following:

  • Student, employee, or military photo ID card,
  • United States passport, or
  • any other State or Federal government-issued photo ID card.

Party affiliation is optional. If it is not provided, the default will be Unaffiliated.

When to Register

New for 2020: Same Day Election Day Registration

Maryland will be implementing "Same Day Voter Registration" during early voting for the 2016 Presidential Primary and General elections. Same day registration on election day becomes effective for the 2020 Presidential election. More information will be posted when it becomes available.

Generally, 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, unless modified by law or executive order.

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 be 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.