A primary election is a selection of candidates that run for an office in the party in which they are registered and a voter can only vote for a candidate that is running in the same party primary in which he is registered.
The major parties are required, by law, to choose their candidates for the General Election in a Party Primary election. Only registered voters who have affiliated with a major political party may vote in the Primary Election of their party. To vote in a party primary, you must affiliate with that party either when you register to vote or before the deadline to change voter registration.
A general election is when the winner of the party primary and other party nominees run against each other. All voters are allowed to vote in a general election, regardless of your party affiliation. A voter may even vote for a candidate that is not of the same party as the voter. If a voter wished he/she may vote for candidates of every party that is listed on the ballot.
May I Change Parties?
Yes. To change your party affiliation you can use Maryland's Online Voter Registration System (OLVR) or submit a new voter registration application or a signed written request to the Baltimore City Board of Elections. If you request a change in party affiliation after this date, your request will be held and processed when registration reopens after the election.
What Parties Are Recognized In Maryland?
- Democratic Party (National website| Maryland website)
- Republican Party (National website|Maryland website)
- Libertarian Party (National website |Maryland website)