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Time running out for absentee ballot requests in Washington County

October 23, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- If you will be out of town or unable to make it to the polls on Election Day, you have less than a week to apply by mail or fax for an absentee ballot.

Washington County residents needing to vote absentee in the November general election must mail or fax their ballot request by Oct. 28.

Any registered voter in Maryland can request an absentee ballot if they affirm, under the penalty of perjury, that they will be absent or unable to vote in person on Election Day.

About 3,400 people voted absentee in Washington County during the 2004 presidential general election, said Kaye Robucci, deputy director of the Washington County Board of Elections.

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Robucci said that number likely will be eclipsed this year.

"We've already distributed that many ballots, and we've still got two weeks to go," Robucci said.

Requests for absentee ballots must be submitted in writing.

Applications can be obtained from the following places:

o The Maryland Board of Elections Web site, at www.elections.state.md.us

o By phone, mail or in person at the Washington County Board of Elections at 35 W. Washington St., Room 101, in Hagerstown. The phone number is 240-313-2050. The elections board office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The deadlines to apply for an absentee ballot are:

o If mailed, by Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m.

o If faxed, by Oct. 28 at 11:59 p.m.

After Oct. 28, absentee ballots applications must be made in person at the local board of elections.

The presidential general election will be Nov. 4.

Nearly 5,300 people have registered to vote in Washington County since February's primary election, according to voter registration records.

As of Wednesday, 85,185 people were registered to vote in Washington County. Of those, 32,886 were Democrats; 37,672 were Republicans; and 12,968 were unaffiliated with a political party. The remaining registered voters were divided among other parties.

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