Join us as we register voters in September 2023!
The League of Women Voters of Washington County is proud to be a National Voter Registration Day partner. Thousands of national, state, and local organizations and volunteers will be the driving force behind National Voter Registration Day on September 19, 2023. We can’t contain our enthusiasm, so we have several opportunities for you to join in the civic celebration!
If you are new to voter registration, or if it has been a while since you were trained, the Board of Elections is offering two group training sessions. The first is at 10 AM on Saturday, Sept 9 @ the Board of Elections Office on Virginia Avenue. The second is at 11 AM on Tuesday, Sept 19 @ Hagerstown Community College Student Center. If these dates do not work for you, you may also call the office (240-313-2050) to arrange an appointment for training.
Join us at one of the following voter registration events: (Please click the links provided to RSVP)
- Saturday, Sept 16: Voter Registration @ Saturday in the Park with PrimeTime for Women, Clear Spring, 10 AM - Noon
- Tuesday, Sept 19: National Voter Registration Day @ Hagerstown Community College’s Welcome Back Lunch, 10 AM - 2 PM
- Tuesday, Sept 19: National Voter Registration Day @ Washington County Free Library, Alice Virginia & David W. Fletcher Branch, 3 PM - 6 PM
- Thursday, Sept 21: Voter Registration @ Hagerstown Community College’s Fall Club and Volunteer Fair, in front of the Student Center, 11 AM – 1 PM
- Saturday, Sept. 23: Washington County Goes Purple Recovery Walk, University Park, 12-3 PM
Voter registration drives are a great way for us to get to know each other and help the community learn more about the elections process. We will show voters how to look up their information with the State Board of Elections to verify their registration. We will help them update their registration or register for the first time. In addition, we will talk with voters about the mission of the League and show them our nonpartisan Voter Guide. This is our chance to connect with community members who care about the future and seek to make a difference!
Youth Engagement Update
WashCo LWV member Genie Massey has been busy making contacts in the education community on our behalf as we explore ways to connect with young people in Washington County schools. Two ideas are beginning to take shape: Helping organize a youth-lead voter registration drive in high schools for 2024 and a civics education and empowerment effort in selected middle schools to be launched as early as this September.
Civics education and empowerment. Maryland’s BluePrint for Excellence in Education will be enabling after school enrichment programming at Northern Middle, E. Russell Hicks and Western Heights middle schools beginning this fall. Genie has been in touch with the coordinator at Western Heights and it has been determined that our League could be a provider using the curriculum called “Project Citizen” provided by the Center for Civic Education. According to their website,
“Project Citizen” provides a practical first-hand approach to learning about our complex system of government and how to monitor and influence it. Through our Curriculum, students will work together to research their community to discover problems and then identify solutions in the form of policy that require government involvement. Students also have the opportunity to display their research and policy suggestions through Showcases, a way for students to display their research and present their policy solutions to their classroom and/or community. Showcases are also held at the state and national levels, where classes have the opportunity to participate and share their work with other classes from across their state or nation. To learn more about Project Citizen and Professional Development opportunities, we invite you to explore the website and contact your State Coordinator or Center staff to learn how to get involved.
Voter Registration. It turns out that because of safety and access issues only students can do voter registration in our schools. But, young people who will be eligible to vote in the 2024 general election will be qualified to do voter registration. That means young people who will attain 18 by November of 2024 will be able to do registration and it is with those young people that we will be able to work to organize a voter registration drive. Those soon-to-be voters are also eligible to work as election judges during the primary election and early voting, providing ample opportunities for hands-on civic engagement, if we can figure out how to get them out of class!
Voting at age 16. Sixteen year olds can vote in municipal elections in Takoma Park, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, Riverdale Park, and Mount Rainier. This is possible because those communities have the Charter Home Rule form of government. Guess what, the City of Hagerstown is also a Charter Home Rule city under Maryland law! What a youth engagement project that would be for the young people of Hagerstown to tackle!
Paragraph 505 of the City code says, “Qualified voters of the city shall include every person who (1) is a citizen of the United States, (2) is at least eighteen years of age, or will be 18 years of age on or before the day of the next succeeding general or special election, (3) has resided within the corporate limits of the city for 21 days before the day of the next succeeding primary, general or special election, and (4) is registered in accordance with the Maryland Election Code.” According to Richard Willson’s research, following a duly conducted public hearing, the charter can be amended by the City Council. This power flows from Section 4-304(a)(2) of the Local Government Article of the Maryland Constitution.
The Washington County League published its Voters Guide for the 2022 General Election (click the link in bold to download the Voters Guide) coming up on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 in time for distribution at our National Voter Registration Day events. Voters can go to www.vote411.org to see side-by-side comparisons of candidate responses.
The League is co-sponsoring the following election forums with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce. These forums are being video taped and we will be posting the links in this blog post once they have been uploaded to Antietam Cable's YouTube channel. The League worked with the Chamber's Government Affairs Committee to develop the questions that will be used.
On September 20, 2022, National Voter Registration Day marks the 10th anniversary of celebrating and strengthening democracy since the holiday’s launch in 2012.
Can you volunteer from 10 AM to 2 PM on Tuesday, September 20th?
NVRD at Hagerstown Community College
NVRD at the Washington County Free Library
NVRD at the Robinwood Farmers Market
Scroll to the bottom of the registration page to sign up...
About the Holiday
National Voter Registration Day is dedicated to getting every eligible American registered to vote for their next election. Every year, millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. As a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrated every September, National Voter Registration Day seeks to make sure everyone has the opportunity to get registered and vote.
Since 2012, nearly 4.7 million voters have registered to vote or updated their voter registrations on National Voter Registration Day, including 1.5 million in 2020 alone.Read more
Amending America: How Women Won the Vote
with Musical Theater Performer Kate Campbell Stevenson will take place virtually on Wednesday, March 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This event will be on Zoom: https://hagerstowncc-edu.zoom.us/j/95559688316 and there will also be a watch party in the Student Center room 182 at Hagerstown Community CollegeRead more
The schedules for Maryland’s spring elections have been changed due to a redistricting case before the Maryland Courts. For ongoing information about both elections, please see the Maryland State Board of Elections website.
Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot. It's a good way to vote if you prefer not to go to an early voting center or to your polling place. Information on absentee ballots is given below. For additional facts on this process, please see the Q&A section on absentee ballots on the Board of Elections’ website.
Gubernatorial Primary Election
Election Day: Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Early Voting: Thursday, July 7 through Thursday, July 14, 2022
Deadlines for Voter Registration:
By Mail: Tuesday, June 28, 2022
In-Person: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 (plus same-day registration at the polls on July 19)
Online: Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Deadlines for Mail-in Voting (Absentee Ballots):
Requests by mail for absentee ballots: Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Electronic requests for absentee ballots: 5pm, Friday, June 24, 2022
Return postmark on voted ballots: Tuesday, July 198, 2022 by 8:00 p.m. (Mail-In ballots can also be placed in ballot drop-off boxes on election day.)
More on Absentee Ballots
Absentee ballots may be requested as follows:
- Request one online (requires Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID card).
- Download and print an application if you do not have one of the above IDs.
- Go to your local Board of Elections if you don’t have a cell phone or computer access (when it is again safe to do so).
After you receive your absentee ballot:
- Read the directions carefully.
- Complete your ballot and place it in the return envelope.
- Sign the oath on the envelope.
- Depending on when they are received, ballots without signatures may not be able to be counted.
- Return your ballot.
Options for returning your absentee ballot:
- Mail your voted ballot to the address that comes with it. Ballots must be postmarked by June 2.
- Deliver your voted ballot by hand to your local Board of Elections by 8 pm on Election Day.
- Take your voted ballot to an early voting center or to the polls by the time the polls close on Election Day.
VOTE411 - Information on the Candidates and Issues