Senate changes early voting bill to add more polls

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Senate has changed a bill to expand early voting to enable some rural counties to add an extra voting center.

Sen. George Edwards, R-Garrett, submitted the amendment on Thursday.

It would allow counties larger than 400 square miles, but fewer than 125,000 registered voters to increase early voting centers from one to two. It would not be mandatory. Edwards says his amendment would affect Allegany, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Washington and Worcester counties.

Edwards says some people in Garrett County have to drive up to 45 miles to get to the one early voting center.

The bill, which received initial Senate approval Thursday, initially increased voting centers from five to eight in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties. It also allows three in Frederick County instead of one.

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