Anne Arundel County Adds Three Additional Election Day Voting Sites
Board of Elections Rejects Additional West County Site in split vote
Annapolis, Md (September 4) The Anne Arundel County Board of Elections voted Thursday to add three additional election day voting sites, bringing the county’s total to 31 sites. Election Director Joe Torre had recommended new sites at Laurel Racetrack, Lindale Middle School in Linthicum Heights, and Van Bokkelen Elementary School in Severn. The Board voted unanimously to approve the Lindale and Van Bokkelen sites, but rejected the Laurel Racetrack site in a vote along party lines. The Laurel site was replaced with Arnold Elementary School on the same party line vote.
On August 19 at the Board of Elections office in Glen Burnie, County Executive Pittman and Election Director Torre jointly announced the county’s original 28 election day voting centers, seven of which will also serve as early voting centers. The county also announced secure ballot drop boxes at each location, plus one at the Board of Elections office.
At that press conference, they called for more election volunteers in hopes of opening additional sites. Their call generated a strong response, with more than 1,500 new applications. These additional election judges allowed Mr. Torre’s team to propose three new election day voting sites: Laurel Park Race Track, Lindale Middle School, and Van Bokkelen Elementary School. These sites were selected by election staff because they are in areas of the county that were underserved by the existing distribution of sites.
Election staff were looking for a site in Laurel, in particular, but noted that no public facility met their conditions for a voting center. County Executive Pittman connected election staff with Laurel Park management, and they followed up with a site visit. Staff determined that the facility met the conditions for a voting center, was ideally located, and had ample parking.
“I want to thank all of the civic-minded residents of this county who are stepping up to help make this election fair and safe,” said County Executive Pittman. “And I want to thank our staff at the Board of Elections for doing the hard work of adding three new voting centers and securing ballot drop boxes for each. I was shocked to hear that three members of the Board of Elections worked as a partisan block to reject the staff’s plan for a large and accessible voting center in west county. That center would have served residents who have fewer transportation options due to lower average incomes. My message to all voters is to protect your health and your vote by requesting a ballot now, and to make sure it gets recorded in time by using one of our secure drop boxes.”
County election staff are projecting a high turnout of 85 percent of registered voters, or about 337,500 voters. With these three new sites, the county will now have 31 election day voting sites. Seven of the election day sites will also serve as early voting locations, from October 26 - November 2. County voters can use any of the election day or early voting sites to cast their ballots - voters are not assigned to any particular site for this election.
In addition, the county is providing 32 secure ballot drop boxes, one at each of the 31 voting locations and an additional dropbox at the Board of Elections office in Glen Burnie. Dropboxes will have 24 hour security and video surveillance and be available to accept ballots beginning October 1.
Locations of the voting sites and other general election information is posted on www.aacounty.org/vote.