Washington Bangla Radio - Presidential Election 2008 Tracker

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Get the Facts from the Maryland State Board of Elections

Social Security Numbers

Rumor: State and county election officials may be calling to obtain your Social Security Number.

FACT: State and local election officials do not need and will not be asking voters for their full Social Security Numbers.


Different Election Days for Different Political Parties

Rumor: Due to the expected high voter turnout, Democrats should vote on Tuesday, November 4th and Republicans should vote on Wednesday, November 5th OR Due to the expected high voter turnout, Republicans should vote on Tuesday, November 4th and Democrats should vote on Wednesday, November 5th.

FACT: Election day is Tuesday, November 4th. There is no election on Wednesday, November 5th.


Foreclosure

Rumor: If my home is in foreclosure, will I be allowed to vote?

FACT: Maryland's Constitution (Art. I, § 1) guarantees each citizen who is 18 years old and a resident of the State the right to vote. The fact that your home is in foreclosure has no bearing on your right to vote. It may, however, affect where you vote. If you have left your home and taken up a new residence, you will need to update your voter registration (by October 14, 2008) and vote in the election district and precinct for your new residence.

Supporting Documentation:


Campaign Merchandise

Rumor: If I wear a campaign button or t-shirt into the polling place, will I be allowed to vote?

FACT: A voter may wear campaign paraphernalia (buttons, t-shirts, or stickers) into the polling place while he or she is there to vote (the voter may not linger in the polling place after voting). However, an election judge, challenger and watcher, or other person stationed inside the polling place or within 100 feet of the polling place may not wear or display campaign materials.


Voter Registration Card

Rumor: If the name that appears on the voters registration card does not match exactly as it appears on your driver's license you will not be allowed to vote on November 4th.  The authorities at the polls will turn you away, flat out.

FACT: This is not correct for several reasons:

Rumor: I need my voter registration card to vote.

FACT: You do not need your voter notification card to vote. When you check in to vote, you'll be asked to provide your name, month and date of birth, and address.


College Students

Rumor: If a college student registers to vote at the student's college address the student's parents will not be able to claim the student as a dependent for tax purposes.

FACT: Registering to vote in Maryland alone will not jeopardize a parent's ability to claim a student as a dependent for tax purposes.


Absentee Ballots

Rumor: Election officials automatically send out absentee ballot applications to voters who previously voted by absentee ballot.

FACT: Election officials do not automatically send out absentee ballot applications to voters who have previously voted by absentee ballot. Voters can obtain an absentee ballot application on this website or by calling the voter's local election office.

Rumor: Election officials automatically send out absentee ballots to voters who previously voted by absentee ballot.

FACT: A voter has the option on the absentee ballot application to request an absentee ballot for a primary election, a general election, or both. A voter who indicated that he or she wanted an absentee ballot for both the 2008 Primary and General Elections will automatically receive an absentee ballot for the upcoming general election. A voter who only requested an absentee ballot for the 2008 Primary Election will not automatically receive an absentee ballot. He or she will have to submit an absentee ballot application to his or her local election office to receive an absentee ballot for the 2008 General Election.

Rumor: Absentee ballots are not counted unless they will affect the outcome of an election.

FACT: Absentee ballots (and provisional ballots) are counted regardless of whether they will affect the outcome of an election. Absentee ballots are considered and counted in an open meeting on the Thursday after an election and the 2nd Friday after an election. Provisional ballots are considered and counted in an open meeting on the 1st Monday after an election.


Registering before each Election

Rumor: Even though you are registered to vote, you still need to register again before the election.

FACT: If you have already registered to vote, you do not need to register again in order to vote in the upcoming General Election. You can check here to make sure you are registered to vote and that your information is up-to-date.


Provisional Voting

Rumor: I can go to any polling place in the State, vote a provisional ballot, and have my vote for President counted.

FACT: If you do not vote at the polling place where you reside, in most cases you will not be voting in your election district or ward and therefore your provisional ballot will not be counted. According to advice from the Office of the Attorney General, a voter must cast his ballot in the election district or ward in which the voter resides.


Undercover Officers

Rumor: Undercover police will be at the polls on election day and will arrest voters who have outstanding warrants or traffic offenses.

FACT: There will not be undercover police at the polls. Outstanding arrest warrants, traffic offenses, and unpaid parking tickets do not impact a voter's eligibility to vote.


Straight Party Voting

Rumor: You must vote for President and then select the "straight party" voting option. If you do not do both, your vote for President will not count.

FACT: Maryland does not have straight party voting. To vote for all of the candidates affiliated with a specific political party, you must individually vote for each candidate.


Video Election Day Experiences

Rumor:I can take part in nationwide efforts to video election day voting experiences.

FACT: Maryland regulations prohibit the use of cameras in polling places. While it is true that YouTube and PBS have initiated a project for voters to document their election day experiences, Code of Maryland Regulations 33.07.04.02 prohibits the following devices in polling places: cameras, audible electronic devices (including cell phones and pagers), and computer equipment.