CHESTERTOWN — Early voting for next month's general election starts Thursday, Oct. 25 and runs through Thursday, Nov. 1.

Polls will be open at the Kent County Public Library’s main branch in Chestertown, 408 High St., from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day for early voting.

Cheemoandia Blake, election director for Kent County, said local voters in increasing numbers are taking advantage of early voting, but in general Sunday is the slowest day in Kent — on average 10 to 20 people.

The total of early voters for Kent during the primary election in June was 1,195, Blake said Tuesday.

Maryland voters approved a constitutional amendment in November 2008 to allow early voting, starting with the primary elections in 2010.

The number of early voting centers in a county is based on the county's number of registered voters. Counties with fewer than 125,000 registered voters — such as Kent — must have one early voting center. At the other extreme, counties with more than 450,000 registered voters must have eight early voting centers.

Blake on Tuesday reported that Kent has 14,094 registered voters. The breakdown is 6,410 Democrats; 5,111 Republicans; 2,338 unaffiliated; 93 Libertarians; 33 Green Party; and 109 others.

Any person that is eligible to register to vote can vote early.

Registered voters always have been able to vote during early voting, but now individuals who are eligible but not yet registered can register and vote, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections.

To register and vote during early voting, go to an early voting center in the county where you live. Bring a document that proves where you live — such as a Motor Vehicle Administration-issued driver's license, ID card, paycheck, bank statement, utility bill or change of address card. You will be able to register to vote and vote.

If a voter is registered but has moved, election officials can process this change at an early voting center. You must go to an early voting center in the county where you live. You will be able to change your address and vote.

The same-day registration or address change process is only available during early voting. It will not be available on primary day, Nov. 6.

If you changed your name, you must vote under your former name but you can fill out a form with your new name. Your name will be updated after the election.

If you want to change your party affiliation, you can't do that at an early voting center. You must wait until after the general election to change your party affiliation.

For more information about early voting, contact the Maryland State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-VOTE (8683) or visit elections.maryland.gov.

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