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Prince George's Already Has Lines to Vote Absentee

Rosalind Helderman

The wait in line to cast absentee ballots in-person at the Prince George's County Board of Elections office has now reached an hour and 25 minutes, the county's elections administrator said today.

Alisha L. Alexander said voters were in good spirits as they waited in cold and rain to submit the ballots. In Maryland, voters have until tomorrow at midnight to request an absentee ballot by mail or fax if they are not able to vote in person on Nov. 4. However, they can also visit the Board of Elections and vote absentee in person until Election Day, and more and more voters are taking advantage of the opportunity, she said.

"We've never seen anything like this before," she said. "The volume of absentee ballots is unprecendented....I think this may be a precursor to Election Day."

A record breaking 497,661 people have registered to vote in the county this year and Alexander said she is predicting 85 to 90 percent of those voters will turn out. If she is right, that would mean approximately 130,000 more votes will be cast this year than four years ago.

Alexander said voters can help speed the process by reading up on the nine state and local questions that appear on the ballot before arriving at the polls and deciding how they plan to vote. Still, she advised coming to the polls with a patient spirit.

Those who arrive close to the 8 p.m. closing time should expect to still be in line into the evening, a possibility she said election workers are prepared for.

"My prediction is there will be many polling places where people will be voting well past 8 p.m.," she said.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 27, 2008; 2:57 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Elections , Prince George's County , Rosalind Helderman  
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