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Early Voting in Maryland Begins Thursday

Prince George’s County and other jurisdictions in Maryland will open its polls at 10 a.m. Thursday to begin the weeklong process of early voting for the primary election.

Voters will use paper ballots to choose a perspective candidate, as opposed to the touch-screen machines used since November 2000.

Because this year features the presidential election, voter turnout could be higher than last year’s gubernatorial race.

“We are preparing for that, but how many exactly, you never can tell,” said Alisha L. Alexander, director of the county’s Board of Elections.

She said about 30 elections judges will be stationed at one of the eight polling stations throughout the county that close at 8 p.m. During early voting, residents can vote at any one of the sites.

Residents who call their local election offices are being directed to a call center in Baltimore. However, only four jurisdictions are receiving this service, thanks to the state Board of Elections: Prince George’s, Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties and Baltimore City.

Donna Duncan, assistant deputy for election policy with the state Board of Elections, said the call center has received about 7,000 calls since opening April 4.

“We’ve used the call center for the last four elections,” she said. “[Call-takers are] trained to respond to inquiries such as where do I vote, how do I register to vote, what time do the polls open. It helps support the local offices.”

Duncan said the center will continue fielding calls through April 21, the end of the early-voting period. Polls for the April 26 primary open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

The call center will resume for the general election on Oct. 17, one day before the voter registration deadline.

To view a list of polling locations, go to http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/sites/elections/Pages/default.aspx.

To view a list of polling locations, go to http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/sites/elections/Pages/default.aspx.

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