City of Frederick voters will have several options for casting their ballots in this year’s primary and general elections, with mail-in, drop box and in-person voting available.
Every registered voter in the city will be mailed a ballot 21 days before the Sept. 14 primary and Nov. 2 general elections, which they can mail back, take to a drop box or return to the voting center during early voting or on Election Day.
Registration deadlines are Aug. 16 for the primary and Oct. 4 for the general election.
The Democratic primary for mayor will include incumbent Michael C. O’Connor, Alderman Roger Wilson, former mayor Jennifer P. Dougherty and challenger John Funderburk. The Republican race will feature Steve Garrahy and Steven Hammrick.
The Democratic primary race for five general election spots for alderman will include Democratic incumbents Kelly Russell, Donna Kuzemchak, Ben MacShane and Derek Shackelford, along with challengers Katie Nash, Robert Van Rens and Chris Sparks.
The two Republican candidates, Robert A. Fischer and Michelle Shay, will advance to the general election without a primary.
The city’s 2017 primaries generated less than 14 percent turnout, which Deborah Carter, chairwoman of the county’s Democratic Central Committee called “tragic.”
“That’s just abysmal,” she said.
That year’s general election turnout was just more than 21 percent.
It’s interesting, Carter said, that people who get very excited about presidential elections don’t bother to vote in municipal elections, when she feels that vote means more.
In presidential or statewide races, people are inundated with information, while in local elections they often have to search out information, which can be hard when people have such busy lives, Carter said.
Republican Central Committee Chairman Steven Clark could not be reached for comment Monday.
For the 2021 elections, monitored drop boxes will be available starting in early September for the primary and mid-October for the general election at seven locations around the city, according to a news release.
The locations include the Trinity School voting center at 6040 New Design Road, the Frederick County Board of Elections office, Talley Recreation Center, Hillcrest Commons, the Housing Authority office, Frederick Community College and Gov. Thomas Johnson High School.
Mail-in ballots must be received before 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday after Election Day.
In-person voting will be done at the Trinity School site from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Early voting for the primary election is Sept. 8 through Sept. 11. For the general election, early voting is Oct. 27 through Oct. 30.