Today is an important day. April 5th is the deadline to register in Maryland and be eligible to vote in the Primary election on April 26th. If you have a Maryland license and would like to register, change your party affiliation (Maryland is a closed primary state), or update your voting district you can do so online. If you do not have a Maryland driver's license or MVA issued card, you can still register in Maryland if you consider Maryland your permanent home. You can do so by filling out this paper form, and either dropping off at a Board of Elections office, or mailing it so that it is postmarked by today.
A couple of points to clarify the voting process:
- Some people voting for the first time in Maryland may be asked to show ID. This doesn't need to be a Maryland State ID. This can be any government issued ID or a current utility bill, pay stub or bank statement (current is defined as within 90 days).
- Early voting is available and a great way to avoid long lines on Election Day. Early voting is Thursday April 14th through Thursday April 21st. Polls are open 10am to 8pm.
- Effective March 10, 2016, if you have been convicted of a felony and have completed serving a court-ordered sentence of imprisonment, you are eligible to register to vote.
- If your work schedule does not allow for two consecutive hours off between the hours of 7am and 8pm on election day, your employer is required to grant you two hours paid time off to vote. You can receive verification to provide to your employer at your polling place.
- You can bring your kids with you! No need to worry about child care, your children can go with you to the polls!
While Presidential politics are exciting, it's important to remember that most of our day to day quality of life decisions in Baltimore are decided by our local elected officials. Getting people in office that understand the value of complete streets and designing cities that are healthy, safe, and affordable is critical to Baltimore's future. When a candidate understands the value of biking and walking, they are exhibiting a deep commitment to environmental justice, smart land use policy, and improved public health and safety. If they are dismissive of these issues, or don't understand how transportation and land use intersects with other challenges impacting Baltimore, they may not be equipped to handle the complexities of governing a modern American city.
Councilmanic and Mayoral elections can be won by a handful of votes. The more people we have casting ballots that hold a vision for Baltimore that is multi-modal, rooted in practices of equitable economic development, and believe that improved public health and safety require holistic solutions, the more likely it is that our elected officials reflect those same values. The ripple effect is improved appointees to run our city agencies, more local dollars invested in better designed streets, and improved policies creating a more hospitable environment for those who walk and bike.
Do not miss a chance to let those running for office know "I Bike, and I Vote". Make sure you and your friends and family are registered to vote today!