Voting Age in Howard County: What You Need to Know

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) sets out certain requirements for voter registration in elections for federal office. Section 5 of the NVRA requires states to provide voter registration opportunities at state motor vehicle agencies, while Section 6 requires states to provide voter registration opportunities through a mail request. Section 7 of the NVRA requires states to provide voter registration opportunities at certain state and local offices, including public assistance and disability offices. Section 8 of the NVRA contains requirements regarding the administration of voter registration by states and requires states to implement procedures to maintain accurate and up-to-date voter registration lists. The mission of the Board of Elections is to ensure that federal, state and local elections are conducted in a timely, responsible manner and with the highest level of professional electoral standards, responsibility, security, and integrity, with the goal of earning and maintaining public trust in the electoral process.

All early voting takes place at the Howard County Courthouse located at 300 S Main, Big Spring, Texas. Howard County is part of the Vote Center program, which allows voters to cast their ballots at any polling place on Election Day. The Early Voting Clerk must receive your marked ballot before 7 p.m. on Election Day or before the 5th day after Election Day if your ballot is being cast from outside the United States. Leaders in Rockville, Maryland are considering lowering the voting age in local elections from 18 to 16. However, 17-year-olds are not eligible to vote in special elections in Washington County (question on the constituent ballot) or in municipal elections in the city of Cumberland.

The sixth question, question A, is specific to Howard County and will ask whether voters are in favor of a law passed by a majority of the county's Democrats. In the opinion of the Attorney General, it was reaffirmed that voters must be 18 years or older to vote in primary elections. Since the basis for allowing 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election is the association rights of the main political parties, staff members asked for clarification as to whether a 17-year-old voter who will turn 18 in the next general election or earlier and who is not affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties can vote in a primary election. Due to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Howard County Board of Elections encourages voters to continue to ensure that their voter registration information is up to date using online voter registration tools. As long as you remain a resident of the county and keep your address up to date at the elections office, your voter registration in Maryland is permanent. Voters who choose to use the ballot box can mail their properly completed ballots to any official box in their county of residence. More information about early voting can be found on the State Board of Elections website or contact the Howard County Board of Elections.

For Howard residents, the Howard County Board of Elections office (410-313-5820) is located at 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 200, Columbia MD 21046.