Are you registered to vote in the coming city primary elections?

Waiting to vote in the 2020 election (Credit: Baltimore Sun)

With hotly contested elections this year for Baltimore mayor, city council president and for Bolton Hill’s two city council members (and the U.S. Senate), it’s important to be registered to vote on or before primary election day on May 14.

To vote for or against these local officials on May 14, because all of them are Democrats, you must register as a Democrat and vote in the Democratic primary.

Maryland is a closed primary state without runoff elections. Although there are Republican and Independent candidates on the Nov. 5 general election ballot, Baltimore city elections are almost always decided in the Democratic vote. Four years ago, the current mayor won by getting only about 30 percent of the primary vote in a field of five competitive candidates. He swept the November ballot with more than 80 percent. In the primary, your vote matters a lot.

Running against Mayor Brandon Scott are ex-mayor Sheila Dixon, attorney Thiru Vignarajah and businessman Bob Wallace, along with several less visible candidates. Council President Nick Mosby is opposed by council member Zeke Cohen and former council member Shannon Snead. Eleventh District council member Eric Costello, who now represents the southern end of Bolton Hill, is being challenged by Zac Blanchard, a staff member at Midtown Community Benefits District. Seventh District council member James Torrence is opposed by Tori Rose, a motivational speaker and west Baltimore activist. The seventh district now includes the north end of Bolton Hill.

Here’s what do you need to know:


Make sure you are properly registered to vote at your current address. You can do that at the State Board of elections website. You may register if you are at least 16 years old but cannot vote unless you will be at least 18 years old by the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The deadline for registration in order to vote without complications in the primary election is April 23.

If you fail to register on time, you can take proper ID to your neighborhood polling place on election day and register on-site. You will receive a provisional ballot.


Decide whether you wish to vote early in person, by mail or on election day in the neighborhood.

  • Early in-person voting sites are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Thursday, May 2 through Thursday, May 9. There are eight locations. One of the closer ones is at the recreation center at 911 Hollins St, near the Hollins Market.
  • Mail voting requires that you request a ballot online or in person, complete the ballot and drop it off or mail it in. You may request a ballot (for yourself only) online now. To do so you must have a current Maryland driver’s license or state ID card. To receive your ballot by mail, your request must be received (not just mailed) by 5 p.m. May 7. To receive your ballot via the internet, your request must be received by 5 p.m. May 10.
  • To vote on election day, find your voting place and show up between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. You normally do not have to show ID, but it is a good idea to have it with you.