By Elliott Francis
For the first time, voters in Maryland will be able to cast their ballots early, 11 days before the September primary.
On Tuesday, Governor Martin O’Malley joined the state’s legislative Black Caucus to encourage voters to cast their ballot before the state's official election day.
“In other places where they’ve done this it has been embraced and citizens here were asking, why didn’t we do this long ago,” says O'Malley.
One reason? O’Malley’s predecessor, Bob Erich, who opposed early voting legislation while governor. A voter approved constitutional amendment changed that, and O’Malley signed it into law. Some observers have noted, early voting could help the Governor in his upcoming re-election bid.
Elbridge James, chairman of the state’s political action committee for the NAACP says that ‘help’ could come from working class folks who might have a better shot at finding time to vote, if they do it early.
“They now can go out on their own schedule, on their own time, within a reasonable period and actually participate in voting," says James.
Voting centers open Friday.