Chances dwindle to register to vote

Posted at 6:19 PM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 18:26:51-04

First things first, if you are one of the estimated half a million Marylanders eligible to vote, but not registered, you are up against a tight deadline.


Maryland State Board of Elections' Deputy Administrator Nikki Charlson explains.


"Today is the last day for people who want to register to vote to register.  For those of us that might be registered, but haven't updated our information to do that, and so we have both a paper-based system to do in or an on-line system that will be available until nine o'clock tonight."


If you miss that deadline, you can register during early voting that starts on October 25th and runs through November 1st.


"That is not an option on Election Day so it's important that if you need to make a change or you're not yet registered, do it today or if not, doing during early voting, but don't wait until Election Day," added Charlson.


Ironically, one of a pair of ballot questions to consider would allow same-day voter registration in the future on Election Day at the almost 2,000 precincts throughout the state.


Proponents say it makes it easier to vote, while opponents say it could open the door to fraud.


A second ballot question would make sure money raised through Maryland's casinos for public education actually gets there.


"Unfortunately, both of our past governors have played a shell game with that money," said Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost who notes casino money wasn't meant to replace existing funding, "It will put it away in a lockbox and really be used in our classrooms for smaller class sizes, more mental health professionals and really what our schools need."


Those proposed constitutional amendments are the last things on the ballot and often get overlooked, so elections officials encourage voters to look at their sample ballots ahead of time so they're prepared to cast their votes on election day.