It's finally Election Day! Get voting information, resources, and reports from the polls from the WYPR News Team, On the Record, and Midday.
What you need to know today:
- Maryland has same-day voter registration. You must bring proof of residency. Details about voter registration eligibility and verifying if you're registered here.
- If you requested a mail-in ballot but want to vote in-person, you'll have to vote by provisional ballot. State election officials say voting a provisional ballot may take a little more time (because have to fill out a form and vote) so be prepared.
- There are more than 300 Election Day voting centers and more than 250 ballot drop boxes. Details on other ways to vote here.
- Polls and ballot drop boxes are open until 8 p.m. If you are in line at 8 p.m., you will get to vote.
- You must wear a mask if you are voting in-person. Election officials will be making sure that voters stay six feet apart and will limit the number of people inside voting centers at one time.
- If you've encountered a problem while attempting to vote, please click here for resources.
- Midday host Tom Hall will anchor live WYPR Election Night Coverage from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. Live NPR coverage will follow. Because of the amount of mail-in ballots received, we probably won't have complete election results on Nov. 3.
Reports from the polls
WYPR reporter John Lee arrived at the Morgan State University polling center around 5 a.m. At that time it was just John, poll workers and a man named Casper (he didn't want to give his last name.)
This is important,” Casper said. “Most important election since the country’s been started.”
Standing behind Casper in the second slot in line at Morgan State was Bishop Williams.
He said one reason he lined up so early was to beat traffic.
“Also it’s important," Williams said. "The reason that this is important is people need to know what’s going on around them in their community. We’ve got to be more involved.”
By 6:45 a.m., a line of about 50 people had formed. Just before they opened the doors at the voting center at Morgan, election official Antoine Smith gave the voters their marching orders.
“How we are going to do it, I’m going to let the first 14 people in,” Smith said. “After you get to the door, it’s going to be six feet apart. If you don’t have a mask, the person at the door, they have a box of masks. They will issue you one.”
After talking to voters at the Morgan State voting center, John checked things out in Baltimore County. He said there wasn't much of a line at the Towson High School voting center.
John then went over to Towson University and said there was "absolutely no line" to vote. One resident said it took them 25 minutes to vote.
John said so far this morning, he's not seen the crowds present during early voting.
"Nothing compares to what I saw on the first day of early voting. Much longer lines," he said.
Get a list of Baltimore County Election Day voting centers and drop boxes here.
At Western High School in Northwest Baltimore, cheerleaders and school alums applauded the voters who trickled into the entrance. John said there wasn't any line at 9 a.m. and it took voters 20-25 minutes to cast their ballots.
Laurie Hanson, a 1979 graduate of Western, voted there this morning.
“I haven’t been back in here since senior year,” Hanson said.
Her usual polling place, which is across the street from her home, was closed.
“When I woke up I didn’t see anything,” Hanson said. “I said ‘oh, well, doesn’t look like we’re voting there today.'”
She went online and found her closest voting center, which was Western.
There are far fewer places to vote today. The state is using voting centers rather than precinct polls. There was concern they would not be able to find enough election judges to man the polls as usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials also wanted to use larger voting centers so people could more easily social distance.
Emily Sullivan said when she was at the Mount Pleasant Church and Ministries voting center for the June primary, there was a two hour wait to vote. Today she counted about two dozen people waiting in line at the Northeast Baltimore church.
Emily reported that about 3800 Baltimoreans have cast a ballot as of 9 a.m.
The line has grown somewhat, but it’s still under 20 minutes! pic.twitter.com/piLMlx030P
— emily sullivan (@emilyasullivan) November 3, 2020
Emily said voters have been entering the line and casting a ballot within 20 minutes.
Yinka K. Olagoke is one of them. The longtime republican said he’s voting blue in the presidential election because he’s frustrated with President Trump’s dishonesty.
"I like people who are honest with us, who speak the truth, who take responsibility for their actions…so for the first time I’m not gonna vote for my party leader," he said.
On the Record producer Melissa Gerr was at the Carver Vocational-Technical High School voting center in West Baltimore Tuesday morning. She said there were about 100 people in line before the polls opened at 7 a.m. and there's been a steady stream since.
"There's maybe half a dozen to a dozen people waiting in line at a time but it goes fast," she said.
Melissa said people were excited to vote, and many of them were casting their ballot for the first time.
"There have been several first time voters and several registered day-of voters," she said. "Several parents bought their small kids along specifically to show them the importance of voting."
WYPR reporters will have election stories during All Things Considered (4-6:30 p.m.)
Tune in at 8 p.m. for live WYPR Election Night coverage, followed by live NPR coverage.
On the Record (9:30 a.m.) will have post-election analysis on Wednesday with Emily Sullivan and Lisa Snowden-McCray, managing editor of The Real News Network.
Wednesday's Midday will feature election analysis from WBAL-TV reporter Jayne Miller and multimedia journalist Farai Chideya.