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Maryland Takes Measures To Increase Voter Access

November 4th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The state of Maryland, whose voters experienced long lines in the 2012 election, made big changes to the voting system to correct wait time problems and accommodate a group of newly eligible voters: ex-felons.

Those that make their way to the polls on Tuesday will find the most noticeable change to be the return to paper ballots instead of the electronic touch-screen machines the state had used since 2002.

The new balloting system was tested by an increase in the number of early voters, but official said the results were positive.

This year's 122,880 first-day voters was a dramatic increase from the 78,286 who cast votes on the first day they could before the 2012 election, according to state Board of Elections data. Through the first six days of 2016 early voting, an average of more than 101,000 ballots were cast per day. Over five days of 2012's early voting period, about 86,000 voted per day.

The state also is revising its methods for distributing polling place workers and balloting materials to adjust to the paper balloting system.

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