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Rumor Control for the 2014 Election

Vote "Flipping"

Rumor: The voting machine flipped my votes.

Fact: All voting units in Maryland are tested and calibrated before each election. Complaints of voting units allegedly displaying incorrect selections surface each election and post-election analysis has shown that voter error is the cause. In this election, the State Board of Elections has received reports that less than 20 units have allegedly displayed an incorrect selection. Twelve of these units have been thoroughly tested and the issue cannot be replicated. The remaining units have been taken out of service until they can be thoroughly tested.

Voters should press the touchscreen with the tip of their finger not a fingernail; carefully review the summary screen before casting their ballot; and BEFORE casting a ballot, tell an election judge if you have any concerns. See the State Board of Elections’ statement for more information.

Early Voting and Absentee Votes

Rumor: Early votes and absentee votes are not counted unless there is a tie in an election.

Fact: All votes cast during early voting are counted. All absentee ballots submitted on time with the required signature are counted even if they will not change the outcome of an election. Votes cast during early voting and by absentee ballot count just like votes cast on election day.

Early Voting Ballots

Rumor: If I vote during early voting, I will not receive the same ballot as the one I would receive on election day and therefore my ballot will not be counted.

Fact: You will receive the same ballot whether you are voting during early voting, on election day or by absentee ballot. Your ballot is always determined by your residential address.

Voting in the General Election

Rumor: If you did not vote in the primary election, you cannot vote in the general election.

Fact: Any registered voter can vote in the general election. You can vote in the general election even if you did not vote in the primary election.

Deadline to Register to Vote for the General Election

Rumor: The deadline to register to vote is 8 pm on October 14, 2014.

Fact: The deadline to register to vote for the 2014 general election is October 14, 2014 at 9 pm. The SBE and all Local Boards of Elections will be open until 9 pm and anyone inside the office by 9 pm will be allowed to register to vote.

Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot

Rumor: The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the 2014 general election is October 14, 2014.

Fact: The deadline depends on how you want to receive your blank ballot. For the 2014 General Election, your absentee ballot request must be received (not just mailed) by:

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014, if you want to receive your ballot by mail or fax
  • Friday, October 31, 2014, if you want to download your ballot from the State’s website

Proof of Voting

Rumor: To prove you voted, you will get a second copy of the form you sign when you check in to vote.

Fact: Upon request, a pollworker will give you a form to prove that you voted, but the form will be different from the form you sign when you check in to vote. If you need proof that you voted, please ask a pollworker.

Election Results

Rumor: Election judges will not post election results once the polls close.

Fact: During early voting, election results will not be posted. The local boards of elections will post these results after the polls close on election day.

​On election day, election judges will post results once the polls close.​ Election results will also be available from SBE and the local boards of elections.​

Online Voting in Maryland

Rumor: The Maryland State Board of Elections will vote on April 24, 2014 to allow online voting in Maryland.

FACT: Maryland law prohibits online voting. The State Board of Elections is NOT voting on online voting at the board meeting held on April 24, 2014. SBE is considering an online tool to mark an absentee ballot that must be returned by mail.

Voting in a Primary Elections

Rumor: Any registered voter can vote in a primary election.

FACT: It depends. You must be registered as a Democrat or Republican if you want to vote for all federal, all state, and most local offices. This includes voting for Congress, Governor, members of the General Assembly, and county executive or commissioner. If you are registered with another political party or not affiliated with any political party, you may be able to vote for a local contest (e.g, school board) but not for any federal or state offices.