Functions of the Board of Elections were first exercised by judges of elections, and originally the sheriff was to serve as such a judge. The Maryland Constitution of 1776 (sec. 3) provided:

By 1799, the county courts were authorized to appoint judges of elections for each election district (Chapter 50, Acts of 1799). Thereafter, levy court judges annually were to appoint three judges of elections for each election district to be conservators of the peace during the voting process (Chapter 97, Acts of 1805). By 1865, boards of county commissioners along with the mayor and city council of Baltimore assumed responsibility for appointing judges of elections (Chapter 174, Acts of 1865).

In 1890, for Washington County, the Board of Supervisors of Elections was created to assume duties previously borne by the judges of elections (Chapter 538, Acts of 1890). This board was appointed by the Governor and later renamed the Board of Elections in 1999 (Chapter 585, Acts of 1998).

The Board of Elections oversees the conduct of all elections held in Washington County and ensures that the elections process is conducted in an open, convenient and impartial manner (Code Election Law Article, sec. 2-202).

Appointed to four-year terms by the Governor with Senate consent, the Board formerly consisted of three members and two substitutes. Effective June 2011, the Board was reconstituted to have five members and no substitutes (Chapter 247, Acts of 2011; Code Election Law Article, secs. 2-201 through 2-303).

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