Absentee Voting FAQs

Did you know that any registered voter can vote by absentee? You might be a college student studying in another state, a military service person stationed overseas, or a district resident who prefers the convenience of at-home voting.

If you wish to vote by absentee ballot, you must request a ballot from the local board of elections office by a specific date. Maryland does not automatically mail out absentee ballots based on previous voter behavior. If you voted by absentee in the past, you'll need to request a ballot each cycle.

Once you have received and completed your absentee ballot, you must mail or hand deliver your ballot to your local board of elections office by a specific date. You cannot email or fax it and you cannot take it to an early voting center or a polling place.

US citizens who are currently serving in the military overseas may vote for federal, state, and local offices. Other US citizens living overseas can only vote for federal offices.

For more details about absentee voting, see the following, which has been adapted from the Maryland Board of Elections website.

Request Your Absentee Ballot By

  • October 30, 2018, for ballots requested to be mailed or faxed.
  • November 2, 2018, for ballots that are downloaded from the state's website.

Return Your Completed Absentee Ballot By

  • In person by 8 pm on November 6, 2018, to the local board of elections office.
  • Postmarked on or before November 6, 2018, and received by 10am on November 16, 2018, for mailed ballots.


I want to vote by absentee. What do I do?

First you must request an absentee ballot. There are three ways you can request an absentee ballot. Ballots are mailed about three weeks before an election. If you want to download your ballot, an email will be sent when your ballot is ready. The email will include a link where you can print your ballot and instructions.

  1. Online: Click here to complete an online form using your Maryland’s driver’s license or MVA-issued ID card.
  2. Mail, fax or email: Download and print one of the forms below. Return it to your local board of elections office. Howard County residents should return their absentee ballots to:Howard County Board of Elections
    9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 200
    Columbia MD 21046
    410-313-5833 (Fax; voter registration application and absentee ballot quests)
    Email Guy Mickley to request a ballot.



  1. Absentee ballot application for 2018 elections (PDF)
  2. Solicitud de Papeleta de Votante Ausente para las Elecciones del 2018 (PDF)

3. In person: Go to your local board of elections and fill out and turn in the form. Howard County residents should go to Howard County Board of Elections, 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 200, Columbia MD 21046.


What is the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot?

For the 2018 General Election, your request must be received (not just mailed) by:

  • Tuesday, October 30, 2018, if you receive your ballot by mail or fax
  • Friday, November 2, 2018, if you download your ballot from the State's website

If you hand deliver your request and the ballots are ready, you can pick up your absentee ballot during your visit. You may pick up your absentee ballot and return it by mail or you can vote at the local board of elections office. Howard County Board of Elections office is located at 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 200, Columbia MD 21046.

If you miss the deadline but still want to vote by absentee ballot, you or your agent must apply in person at the board of elections office.


Can I have someone pick up my ballot?  

Yes. You can designate someone to be your agent. To designate an agent, you must complete the Absentee Ballot: Designation of Agent Form (Papeleta de Votante Ausente: Formulario para Designar un Representante).


How do I return my completed absentee ballot?

You must mail or hand deliver your voted ballot. You cannot submit your voted ballot online, by email or fax, or take it to an early voting center or a polling place.

If you hand deliver your ballot, you must deliver it to your local board of elections by 8pm on November 6, 2018.

If you mail your ballot, the envelope must be postmarked on or before November 6, 2018 and received by your local board of elections by 10 am on November 16, 2018.



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