[photo, 151 West St., Annapolis, Maryland] Prior to formation of the State Board of Elections, the Secretary of State in conjunction with local boards of election supervisors was responsible for the conduct of elections in Maryland.

In 1969, the State Board of Elections was created by the General Assembly as the State Administrative Board of Election Laws (Chapter 555, Acts of 1969). Upon its creation, the Board assumed all powers and duties formerly vested in the Secretary of State with regards to elections. On January 1, 1999, the Board was renamed the State Board of Elections (Chapter 585, Acts of 1998).

The conduct of voter registration and elections in Maryland is supervised by the State Board of Elections, which directs, supports, monitors, and evaluates the activities of the local boards of elections in each county and Baltimore City. In odd-numbered years, the Board meets with the boards of elections from the counties and Baltimore City to instruct them, their employees, and counsel on their duties in the conduct of elections.

151 West St., Annapolis, Maryland, October 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

To maximize the use of technology in election administration, the State Board of Elections oversees the upgrade and standardization of voting systems and election procedures statewide (Chapter 564, Acts of 2001). The Board also administers the voter registration-by-mail program.

To regulate the financing of campaigns for State and county offices, the Board administers the Fair Election Practices Act (Code Election Law Article, secs. 13-101 through 13-604). In addition, the Board prepares and certifies ballots, administers petitions, and publishes statewide ballot questions before elections.

The State Board of Elections consists of five members appointed to four-year terms by the Governor with Senate advice and consent. Each member must belong to a principal political party with neither party having more than three or less than two members. Each member appointed by the Governor has been named by the state central committee of the principal political party entitled to the appointment (Chapter 4, Acts of 2005; Code Election Law Article, sec. 2-101).


The State Administrator of Elections is the chief election official for the State. The Administrator oversees the State Board functions, supervises the operations of local boards of elections, and receives and audits financial reports of candidates required under the Election Code (Code Election Law Article, secs. 13-401 through 13-404).

Appointed by the State Board of Elections with Senate advice and consent, the State Administrator also serves as secretary to the Board of State Canvassers (Code Election Law Article, secs. 2-103, 11-501 through 11-503).


Assisting the State Administrator of Elections is the Deputy Administrator who oversees Administration.

Under Administration are Election Policy; Finance and Budget Management, and Procurement; Information Technology and Security; and Project Management. Also reporting directly to Administration are Candidacy and Campaign Finance, Information Security, Records Management, and Special Projects.


Formed in 2012, Election Policy oversees three divisions: Candidacy and Campaign Finance; Election Management; and Voter Registration and Petitions.

The Election Management Division organized in 1998. Functions of the Election Reform Division were merged with the Elections Management Division in February 2013 to form the Election Reform and Management Division.

The Division works to improve the election process for voters, upgrade voting systems, and prepare voting materials for both absentee and provisional ballots. To counties, it also provides election-related supplies, such as polling place signs and other items to make polling places accessible. In addition, the Division helps local boards of elections recruit and train election judges and pollworkers.

Formerly the Voter Registration Division, the Voter Registration and Petitions Division organized in 2004. The Division supervises and coordinates the voter registration activities of local boards of elections, and the reporting of voter registration information from other state agencies. As required by the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, the Division developed an automated, centralized, interactive statewide voter registration database, which was implemented in 2006. The Division also conducts voter registration volunteer training, and periodically compiles and makes available voter registration statistics.

Submission of voter petitions for referenda, establishing new political parties, and nominating independent or third party candidates to the ballot, are overseen by the Division.


The Information Technology and Security Division began as the Computer Technology Division. It reformed as the Information Technology Division in 1999 and received its present name in 2006.

The Division maintains a local area network for its headquarters operation, which includes servers that support election management, campaign finance reporting, and e-mail communications.

To the State Board of Elections and local boards of elections, the Division provides technical support and expertise. It develops technology polices, provides network management, software upgrades, and website enhancements. The Division also monitors and revises security procedures for data back-up and storage, and protection from outside intrusion into electronic data centers. For local boards of elections, it conducts periodic security audits.

The Field Support Division formed in February 2013. The Division provides technical support for voting systems to State and local election officials in administering elections.


Formed in 2012.

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