State Elections Board to take up question of Hancock early voting center

Washington County Commissioners approved a third early voting site for county voters to use in the 2024 election, located at Hancock Town Hall, but county and state election officials aren’t so sure about that prospect. The Maryland State Board of Elections will meet today, Friday, November 3 at 3 p.m. in a public virtual meeting to weigh whether the Hancock site can be approved.

The Herald Mail reports that the Washington County Board of Elections, in a meeting on Monday, had a lengthy discussion and took public comments about whether the Hancock early voting site was optimal for Washington County’s voter demographics and geography. That October 30 meeting followed an October 26 meeting of the State Board of Elections where board members opted not to vote on the Hancock site.

Washington County, based on its population, must have two early voting centers, say officials. Those have already been approved. They will be located at the Washington County Board of Elections office and at the Boonsboro American Legion building.

During the last election, Washington County’s two sites were at the Board of Elections and at the downtown public library branch. County officials have said the library site wasn’t very well used. But some members of the public believe the library voting site is most accessible for people living downtown who would otherwise have to use public transportation or travel by private vehicle to get the Board of Elections voting site.

During a meeting of the Washington County Board of Commissioners several months ago, Hancock officials asked commissioners to consider putting an early voting site in town to save local residents a drive into Hagerstown to vote during the early voting period. Voters in Hancock cast votes at the Hancock Middle-Senior High School on Election Day.

To watch Friday’s meeting, visit the Maryland Board of Elections website for a link.