Suppose, today, I want to vote in the presidential election in the US. I show up after the polls have officially closed however there are still a few people in line waiting to vote.

Would I still be permitted, by law and not kindness, be obligated to be allowed to cast my vote?

If this varies by state I would be interested in hearing specifically about Nevada and Maryland. The only thing I have found addressing this so far was a news article about Indiana that says that if you are within 50 feet of the polling location at the time the polls close they are obligated to allow you to cast your ballot.

  • 1
    There seems to be a general consensus (in election laws and regulation) that if the poll is already closed, and that you are not already in line, then you are not allowed to vote.
    – Max
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 18:47
  • 2
    Thie spexifics may vary by state. What state are you in? Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 19:01

2 Answers 2


Maryland's board of elections states:

On election day, polling places are open continuously from 7 am until 8 pm on. Anyone in line at 8 pm will be allowed to vote.


  • What counts as "in line"? Can there be a long gap between different people in the line? (I checked your link, but no actual laws, and found no explanation.)
    – bobsburner
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 11:20

I don't know, but a few minutes a ran across this article about Donald Trump suing the elector of Clark County (Las Vegas) Nevada for letting people join the line after the poll had had closed. So there seems to be cause for action, if people are allowed to join a line after closing time. I suggest you go vote now.

  • Note the specifics of that article...there is a specific law there stating you have to be in line by 8pm. So, the answer is likely, as Thunderforge states, entirely dependent on the local laws and rules.
    – user1530
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 19:55
  • Yeah the article also says the issue is that the pollsters let new people in line after closing, which is the issue, not the people already in line. (Sorry caught that on my second read)
    – Jon
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 20:10
  • Just got an update on my phone that a Nevada judge rejected the case.
    – Jon
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 20:27
  • msn.com/en-us/news/politics/…
    – Jon
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 20:28

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