Online Voter Registration Launches in Maryland

Maryland is one of a handful of states nationwide offering the service.

Residents in Maryland with a valid drivers’ license or identification card can now register to vote online for the first time, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Tuesday on Twitter.

Mary Wagner, Maryland’s director of voter registration at the State Board of Elections, called the move, which was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2011, “fairly cutting edge.”

Will you register to vote online? Or do you prefer the paper method? Tell us in comments.

She said state officials did a soft launch of the online voter registration tool July 9 and moved it to the main state elections home page on Tuesday.

Maryland is one of 13 states with online voter registration either implemented or approved by state lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The online voter registration system is expected to increase the number of registrants and "go a long way in cleaning the voter rolls," Wagner said.

"Election officials will not be having to read handwriting, interpret handwriting," she said. "You can’t put in bad address."

The address that potential voters input must match a state database, which means "you can't misspell an address," she said.

The deadline in Maryland to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 16. Paper registrations must be post-marked by that date. Voters can register up until 9 p.m. online Oct. 16, Wagner said.

To participate in online voting in Maryland, you must have a state drivers’ license or identification card issued by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, Wagner said. Otherwise, you can pre-populate the online form and mail it in, she said.

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