Welcome to Bethesda Beat’s 2022 primary election voters guide. You’ll find answers to commonly asked questions about voting and the election, plus maps showing election districts, polling places and early voting centers.
The guide will be updated with more information, such as sites for dropping off mail-in ballots, as well as bios and questionnaire answers from candidates for county, state and federal offices.
The primary election is scheduled for July 19.
Bethesda Beat held a forum on March 6 for county executive candidates. The video is linked below.
Other virtual forums will be held in the coming months. Scroll down to register to watch them.
Click to jump to each section:
Find answers to common questions
- At the county level: Montgomery County executive, County Council, sheriff, state’s attorney, register of wills, clerk of the circuit court, circuit court judges, school board
- At the state level: governor/lieutenant governor, state senators, state delegates, attorney general, comptroller
- At the federal level: U.S. senator, U.S. representatives
- The Montgomery County Republican and Democratic parties will choose members of their central committees.
Party primaries are open to Montgomery County residents registered to vote and enrolled in that party. Primary races for school board, which are nonpartisan, are open to voters enrolled in political parties and to unaffiliated voters.
People may register in person during the eight-day early voting period at any early voting center in their county or at their assigned polling place on the day of the election. They must have a document that proves where they live, such as an MVA-issued license, an ID card, a change of address card, or a paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, or other government document with their name and new address. They can vote immediately after registering.
The deadline is June 28 at 5 p.m. (in person) or 11:59 p.m. (online) for anyone registering with the Board of Elections who wishes to vote in the July 19 primary election. After the June 28 deadline, the Board of Elections will continue to receive registrations, but, by law, can’t process them again until 11 days after the primary election.
However, same-day registration is allowed, too. That’s in effect during the eight days of early voting and on the day of the primary election. People can register at an early voting center or their polling place, then vote.
For more voter registration details, go to https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Elections/FrequentlyAskedQuestions/voter-registration-faqs.html
If I am enrolled as a Republican or a Democrat, can I vote in all Republican or Democratic primary races?
All county residents enrolled in a party can vote for their party’s candidates for county executive, County Council at-large, sheriff, state’s attorney, register of wills, clerk of the circuit court, circuit court judges, governor, attorney general, comptroller and U.S. senator. All registered voters, whether enrolled in a party or unaffiliated, can vote in school board races.
For positions elected by district, the race is decided by residents in that district. That applies to races for state senator, state delegate, County Council district seats, and representatives in Congress. The exception is school board (see below).
- County Council: The county has been divided into five geographic districts for the Montgomery County Council, but in 2020, voters passed a referendum that expanded that number to seven, starting with the 2022 election. There also are four at-large seats on the County Council. Here is the map with seven districts.
- Congress: Maryland is divided into eight districts for its representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Montgomery County has had parts of three districts (Districts 3, 6 and 8). A new map created by the Maryland General Assembly moved part of District 4 into Montgomery County, too, but a judge struck down that map. The newest version of the map now has Districts 4, 6 and 8 in Montgomery County. This is the latest version of the map, after an agreement following a court challenge.
- General Assembly: Maryland is divided into 47 districts for state senators and delegates. Eight of those districts are entirely in Montgomery County (Districts 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 39). Under a map the Maryland General Assembly approved in December, a district that was entirely in Howard County (District 9) now would include part of Montgomery County, too. This is the new legislative map, which also was challenged in court and is under review.
The school board is divided geographically into five districts and also has two at-large seats.
Each candidate must live in the district he or she represents, but all district and at-large seats are chosen by all voters across the county, not just those living in the district. For example, someone who represents District 1 must live in District 1. But voters across the county get to choose the District 1 representative. This is the school board district map.
Originally, the primary was scheduled for June 28 and the filing deadline for candidates was Feb. 22.
Every 10 years, following a U.S. census, states must redraw their maps for congressional districts. After the 2020 census, Maryland still had eight districts and representatives, but the district boundaries always change.
The Maryland General Assembly approved a new congressional map in December. Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed the map, but the Democrat-controlled legislature overrode the veto. A judge struck down the map in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on March 25 on the grounds that it violated the Maryland Constitution.
The legislature quickly created a new map and presented it to the judge, who reviewed it in a hearing April 1.
The judge did not rule on the new map right away because Hogan had not signed or vetoed the map and because of a pending appeal by the state, hoping to retain the map the legislature created in December.
But Hogan agreed to sign the map and Attorney General Brian Frosh is withdrawing the state's appeal, working out an agreement that allows the newest map to go into effect.
The General Assembly’s approved legislative map, determining boundaries for the state’s 47 districts, also has been challenged in court. Because of this lawsuit, the Maryland Court of Appeals in February extended the candidate filing deadline from Feb. 22 to March 22.
Then, in March, with the legislative map lawsuit still pending, the court moved the date of the primary election from June 28 to July 19. The candidate filing deadline was moved again, from March 22 to April 15.
The most recent 40 Montgomery County voting sites are listed on the Montgomery County Board of Elections’ website. The board has not decided on the final sites for this year’s elections.
Each voting site is for voters in that area. To figure out your polling place or check if you are registered to vote, go to voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch or check a sample ballot that the Board of Elections mails to you.
Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Early voting for the July 19 primary is scheduled to run from July 7 to 14, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.
There are 14 sites across the county that will be used in 2022. They are posted online. Any registered voter in the county can vote at any of the 14 sites, not just the site closest to where they live.
Yes. Any voter can request a mail-in ballot (which includes what used to be known as “absentee ballots”). The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is July 12.
Under federal law, ballots must be sent to military and overseas voters who request them at least 45 days before an election. The 45th day before the scheduled July 19 primary is June 4.
There is no deadline in state law for other ballots to go out. But the State Board of Elections plans to send mail-in ballots to other voters who requested them for the primary about 35 to 40 days before Election Day, which would be around June 9 to 14.
The Montgomery County Board of Election lists dozens of drop-off ballot sites on its website from the 2020 election. The board has not decided on the final sites for this year’s elections.
Bethesda Beat will present a complete guide to the candidates, with bios, photos and answers to our questionnaires, after the April 15 candidate filing deadline.
Until then, voters can keep track of who has filed to run for different offices at the Maryland State Board of Elections website.
The state board list still does not have Montgomery County Council candidates for district seats matched to their correct districts under the newly approved map, though. Bethesda Beat’s March 24 story explaining that discrepancy lists candidates in their correct districts as of that date.
The Maryland General Assembly has a web page where residents can enter their address and ZIP code to find out who represents them at the state and federal level.
Here is a list of state senators and delegates who represent Montgomery County.
Find a voting center
Note: The 40 Election Day voting centers below are from 2020. The Board of Elections has not finalized its list for 2022. The 14 early voting centers shown here are in effect for 2022.
Voting centers Early voting centers Election office
Watch a virtual forum
March 6, 2022
VIRTUAL County Executive Primary Forum on education and public safety
March 14, 2022
VIRTUAL County Executive Primary Forum on housing, climate and transit
May 11, 2022 | 5:00 pm
VIRTUAL County Council Primary Forum
The forum will include breakout sessions for Montgomery County district and at-large candidates.
Anne Tallent, Executive Editor of Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat
Louis Peck, Contributing Editor
Steve Hull, Founding Editor & Publisher of Bethesda Magazine