Tuesday marks Primary Election Day ahead of the 2022 midterm elections in November. Here are the answers to some common questions.
Where can I learn about the candidates?
Bethesda Beat offers a voters guide with information on federal, state and local races. There are answers to common questions and lists of endorsements as well as questionnaire answers from candidates who responded. Candidates who did not submit their answers are marked with “Information not submitted.”
Where can I vote?
Registered voters can cast their ballots at their assigned polling place on election day. Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Anyone who is in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
At the polling place, voters will have the option to choose between a paper ballot and an electronic ballot. Poll workers are expected to provide instructions on how to fill out the ballot.
What can I bring with me while voting?
Voters are allowed to bring as many as two children under age 18. Under state law, the children may accompany the voter as long as they do not disrupt or interfere with normal voting procedures.
Voters cannot use their cell phones, pagers, cameras or computer equipment at a polling place. They may bring printed materials to help guide them as they fill out their ballots.
First-time voters may be asked to show ID before voting. If this occurs, please show an election judge a copy of a current and valid government-issued ID such as a driver’s license or passport or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government document showing name and address.
How can I check the status of my mail-in ballot?
Voters can check the status of their mail-in ballot here.
Election officials may accept mail-in ballots as long as they are postmarked by 8 p.m. Tuesday.
When should I expect to know election results?
County officials say it’s unlikely that close races will be called Tuesday night or Wednesday morning because election workers aren’t allowed to start counting mail-in ballots until Thursday due to state law.
How will voter turnout compare to prior election cycles?
So far, it's difficult to say. Turnout for early voting was lower this year than in past primary election cycles. According to the Maryland State Board of Elections, 24,704 Montgomery County voters cast ballots during early voting from July 7 to 14.
In 2020, there was no early voting in the primary due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2018, 35,963 voters cast a ballot during early voting, and in 2016, the number of ballots cast was 42,465.
Local political observers say that holding the primary in July could lead to less voters showing up at the polls, either because they are on vacation or because of general voter apathy. Also, early voting indicates that turnout most likely will be lower, the observers say.
Bethesda Beat reporter Steve Bohnel contributed to this story.
Christine Zhu of Gaithersburg, a rising junior at the University of Maryland who is studying journalism and Spanish, is the Bethesda Beat summer intern.