Maryland Primary Voter Registration Deadline is Tuesday, April 5 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Primary Voter Registration Deadline is Tuesday, April 5

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Maryland's new paper ballot in action (Photo: WBOC) Maryland's new paper ballot in action (Photo: WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.-  It's been a pretty eventful election cycle to say the very least.  Typically this time in an election year you have a pretty good idea of who the nominees are going to be in both parties.  In this case, it's still up in the air, so Maryland's primary, which is later this month typically doesn't factor into that decision.  This time, it's going to matter.

From Trump to Clinton.  Cruz to Sanders, and don't forget Kasich.  Maryland voters have a lot to choose from when they hit the polls in a few short weeks.  but to do that, you have to make sure you are registered.

"[Tuesday] will be the deadline at 9 p.m. to come in and change your party or change your name or have an address change," said Gwendolyn Dales, director of the Dorchester County Board of Elections.

Those party changes are expected to be up this year.

"We've had 305 changes from January to today and we are still seeing people today," said Dales.

By Tuesday, elections officials expect the number of changes to top the numbers seen in 2012.  They are also expecting numbers to be up, thanks in no small part to Maryland's larger role this time around.

"It always means something.  Every vote definitely counts but we're still in the news, and Maryland is one of the states that still matters and I think that does influence people and hopefully convinces them to come out and vote," said Dales.

New this year in Maryland is a paper ballot system.

"You'll come right over here, you'll vote.  It'll be put in a privacy sleeve, and then you will take it over to the scanner and feed the ballot in," said Kim Jones with the Board of Elections.

The change has been in the works since 2007.

"There will be a paper trail.  If there's a recount or anyone disputing it you can take the ballots and count them one by one," said Jones.

Dorchester County has never had a paper ballot system.  It used to be a lever based system.  In 2002 it switched over to this electronic system.  This will be the first election using electronic ballots.

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