Record turnout

First day of early vot­ing tops 2010 to­tal

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CHERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— The Ce­cil County Board of Elec­tions had to add four ad­di­tional vot­ing ma­chines to ac­com­mo­date long lines Thurs­day in the first hours of early vot­ing.

A to­tal of 11 ma­chines were steadily busy Thurs­day as eight days of early vot­ing be­gan at the County

ELK­TON

Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing on Ch­e­sa­peake Boule­vard in Elk­ton.

“I’m so ex­cited to see how many peo­ple are com­ing out for early vot­ing,” Elec­tion Di­rec­tor Deb­bie Tow­ery said Thurs­day, not­ing the line ex­tended down the cen­ter hall most of the day. “We were pre­pared for the rain to­day and al­lowed peo­ple wait­ing in line to come in­side.”

Thirty-four vot­ers were

lined up when the polls opened at 8 a.m., but the line grew quickly, elec­tion judges re­ported.

As of 5 p.m. on the first day of early vot­ing, Tow­ery said a to­tal of 1,483 reg­is­tered vot­ers had cast their votes — 13 per­cent more than the 1,288 to­tal bal­lots cast in six days of early vot­ing in 2010, the first year it was im­ple­mented.

Of the 1,483 votes cast, 587 were Democrats, 692 were Repub­li­cans and 294 were other, ac­cord­ing to Tow­ery. In 2014, early votes to­taled 2,229.

The al­lure of the deeply par­ti­san pres­i­den­tial race be­tween Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton and Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump surely helped draw in the record num­ber of vot­ers. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see the ef­fect of the cam­paign on Ce­cil County’s grow­ing num­ber of Repub­li­can vot­ers, who backed Trump with 7,557 pri­mary votes but also gave more than 4,000 votes to can­di­dates like John Ka­sich and Ted Cruz. Vot­ers will also have choices in Lib­er­tar­ian can­di­date Gary John­son and Green can­di­date Jill Stein for pres­i­dent.

In the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in­cum­bent Repub­li­can U. S. Rep. Andy Har­ris, of Bal­ti­more County, is op­posed by Demo­crat Joe Werner, of Har­ford County, and Lib­er­tar­ian Matt Beers, of Ce­cil County, in the District 1 race. Fi­nally, in the race to re­place out­go­ing Sen. Bar­bara Mikul­ski, vot­ers will choose from Demo­cratic U. S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Repub­li­can State Del­e­gate Kathy Szeliga and Green party can­di­date Mar­garet Flow­ers.

On bal­lots, county vot­ers will find a some­what smaller se­lec­tion of races than in years past on the lo­cal front. Democrats did not field can­di­dates for ei­ther county coun­cil race, so Repub­li­can can­di­dates Bob Mef­fley and Jackie Gre­gory only have to sur­vive long-shot write-in can­di­dates to win their re­spec­tive races. In the District 2 board of ed­u­ca­tion race, Jim Fazz­ino’s op­po­nent, Erin Do­or­dan, dropped out of the race fol­low­ing the pri­mary elec­tion, also leav­ing him only op­posed by a write-in can­di­date.

Mean­while, vot­ers will have choices for county ex­ec­u­tive where Repub­li­can can­di­date Alan McCarthy, who cur­rently serves as vice pres­i­dent of the county coun­cil, will face Demo­crat Wayne Tome, who cur­rently serves as mayor of Port De­posit. In board of ed­u­ca­tion District 1, in­cum­bent board mem­ber Wil­liam Manlove is op­posed by new­comer Kevin Em­merich.

Also on bal­lots will be two ques­tions for vot­ers.

The first is whether to ap­prove a new 10-year term for at-large Mary­land Court of Spe­cial Ap­peals Judge Dan Fried­man. Ap­pointed to the state’s se­cond high­est court in 2014 by thenGov. Martin O’Mal­ley, Fried­man served as assistant at­tor­ney gen­eral from 2008 to 2014.

The se­cond ques­tion asks vot­ers whether to amend the state con­sti­tu­tion to re­quire the gov­er­nor to se­lect from a list of can­di­dates pro­vided by a po­lit­i­cal party when fill­ing va­can­cies of ei­ther Mary­land’s at­tor­ney gen­eral or comp­trol­ler. Cur­rently, the gov­er­nor is not bound by law to ap­point a re­place­ment from the same po­lit­i­cal party as the pre­vi­ous of­fi­cial.

The polls re­open Fri­day at 8 a.m. and will re­main open un­til 8 p.m.

For those who pre­fer wait­ing un­til Elec­tion Day on Nov. 8, they can cast their bal­lots at one of 21 polling places through­out Ce­cil County, which will be open from 7 a.m. un­til 7 p.m. Sam­ple bal­lots have al­ready been mailed out to all reg­is­tered vot­ers list­ing their des­ig­nated polling place.

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