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Byron Overwhelmingly Re-Elected to Third Term as Register of Wills

With all votes tallied, Byron Macfarlane received 88,905 votes, or 66.1% of all voters, in his bid for re-election. Byron received nearly 40,000 more votes than he did in his last contested general election, while his opponent received nearly 4,000 fewer than his last Republican opponent. He credits fulfilling his promises to the voters and his strong campaign for the overwhelming victory.

“I am truly honored that the voters of Howard County have chosen me to lead this vital office for the next four years. I’ve proven that when I say I’m going to do something, I hold myself accountable and follow through. I promise to push for more reform, more enhancements, and more technological advances in the years ahead to better serve the public and make probate as easy, fair, and inexpensive as possible for our families.”

With his re-election, Byron continues to be the youngest Register of Wills in Maryland and the first and only openly LGBTQ elected official in Howard County.

Watch Byron’s Interview with the League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters of Howard County is a non-partisan organization that has been helping inform voters for many years. This year, they’ve conducted candidate interviews to give voters a chance to hear directly from the candidates who they are and what they stand for. Byron is grateful to the League for inviting him to participate. You can watch each section of the interview by clicking below:


Question 1: “What do you feel is the most important issue you’ll encounter in the next four years?”

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Want to Skip Election Day Lines and Vote Early? Here’s How.

Early voting is a popular alternative to voting on Election Day. Here’s all you need to know about it:

When is early voting?

Early voting is held October 25 to November 1, 2018. Polls are open daily from 10:00AM until 8:00 PM.

Where can I vote early?

There are four early voting sites in Howard County. Click on your preferred site to get driving directions:

Columbia – The Bain Center (Great Rooms 1 &2)
Ellicott City – Miller Branch Library (Meeting Rooms)
Jessup – Ridgely’s Run Community Center (All-Purpose Room)
West Friendship – Howard County Fairgrounds (Old Bingo Hall)

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Want to Vote by Absentee Ballot? Here’s How

The General Election will be here soon and you have three options for how to cast your ballot: (1) vote at one of the four early voting sites during early voting; (2) vote on Election Day; or (3) vote by absentee ballot.

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot. You don’t need a reason to vote by absentee ballot. It’s another way to vote if you don’t want to or can’t go to an early voting center or your polling place. Maryland does not have a permanent absentee list. If you wish to vote by absentee ballot, you must apply for an absentee ballot each primary and general election cycle.

For more information about voting by absentee ballot, click here.

October 15 Deadline to Register to Vote, Update Info, Change Party in Maryland

The General Election will be here soon. Be sure you’re properly registered to vote beforehand.

October 15, 2018 at 9:00 P.M. is the deadline to do the following on the Board of Elections website:

✔ Register to vote (If you miss this deadline and are not registered to vote, you can register at any polling place during Early Voting).
✔ Update your information. (If you miss this deadline and are registered to vote, you can fill out a form to update your information at any polling place during Early Voting.)
✔ Change your party affiliation.

For more information about Early Voting, click here.

What His Colleagues Are Saying

Every county in Maryland and Baltimore City has an elected Register of Wills. Byron has worked collaboratively with his colleagues across Maryland to adopt uniform procedures, implement best practices, and advocate for statewide reforms that have made probate in Maryland faster, fairer, and less expensive for Maryland families. The Registers chose Byron as President of the Maryland Register of Wills Association for three consecutive terms, from 2013 to 2016, have entrusted him with leading their legislative lobbying efforts, and have embraced his recommendations to streamline and modernize the probate process.

Read what his colleagues have to say as they encourage voters in Howard County to support Byron’s re-election:



“Byron is an excellent Register of Wills with extensive knowledge and tremendous experience.  No one else comes close. He’s the best man for the job!”

Grace Connolly, Register of Wills for Baltimore County (1998-Present)

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What the People Are Saying

When Byron became Register of Wills, he asked the office staff a lot of questions. “That’s how it’s always been done” was often the answer. For Byron, who campaigned on modernizing the office and creating a culture of innovation, compassion, and care, this answer was never acceptable. From the very beginning of his tenure, he has worked to build a solutions-oriented office where every member of his staff  treats everyone they serve with dignity and respect. The Register of Wills has become known as a model for how public servants should deliver services to people in need of assistance. Byron is proud of his team and the work they do to help Howard County families navigate what can seem like an overwhelming and complex legal process. Don’t take it from him or his campaign, here’s what the citizens of Howard County have to say about the office Byron’s built and the team he’s assembled:


“I was in state government for 30 years and this was the most professional, most helpful service I have experienced.”

“Your aid could be a fine example for all folks who deal with the public on a daily basis.”

“The professionals with whom I dealt were true ambassadors of the best of civil service. They deliver their vital service with grace and competence. I am forever indebted to them.”

 “This was one of the best examples of outstanding customer service I have seen.”

“Our Howard County Register of Wills is an exceptional office.”

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Voters ask “What is the Register of Wills?” Read Byron’s answer.

When I tell people about my job, I’m usually presented with some form of the question “What is the Register of Wills?” People intuitively assume it has something to do with wills and the legal system, but let me explain this role more fully.

The Register of Wills is a constitutional elected office that oversees estate administration, also called “probate.” Every county in Maryland and Baltimore City has an elected Register of Wills. This office is sort of a specialty court that handles probate exclusively. What is probate? When someone dies and they have any assets titled in their name alone or without a beneficiary, those assets must go through probate. This is the legal process for distributing those assets. If the person died with a Last Will & Testament, their assets will be distributed according to the terms of the will. If the person died without a will, their assets will be distributed pursuant to Maryland’s “intestate” succession laws. The office of the Register of Wills helps families identify and account for these assets and oversees their proper distribution.

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Byron Wins Primary!

With all precincts reporting, Byron received 17,300 votes in the Democratic primary, which was more votes than the other three candidates for Register of Wills combined. His 35-point margin of victory was certified by the State Board of Elections on July 9, 2018.

“Thank you to the voters of Howard County for overwhelmingly re-nominating me to be your Register of Wills. I’m truly humbled by the outpouring of support from my family and friends in this campaign. In these trying times, you proved that principled, experienced, proven leadership is what really matters in our local government. I’m looking forward to continuing this campaign, continuing talking with voters about my record of accomplishment, and continuing to work hard for the county I love.”

Vote to Re-Elect Byron Macfarlane on June 26th

The Democratic Primary Election is June 26, 2018. This is your chance to choose who you think are the best, most qualified, and most committed Democrats to send to the General Election and, hopefully, public offices here in Howard County.

Polls will be open from 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM. Click HERE to find your polling location.

Maryland law provides broad protections for you as a voter. Election judges should not be asking you to produce an ID and cannot deny you the opportunity to vote, at least by provisional ballot.

If you encounter any problem trying to vote, please call us at 443.832.3320.