Early vot­ing still break­ing records in sixth day

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— Af­ter nearly six days of early vot­ing, the county is on pace to have 10 per­cent of its reg­is­tereded vot­ers cast their bal­lots be­fore Elec­tion Day.

As of 11 a.m. Tues­day, a to­tal of 6,599 of the county’s 71,971 reg­is­tered vot­ers had cast bal­lots in Ce­cil County, which is five times more than the to­tal of 1,288 vot­ers who cast votes over a to­tal of six days of early vot­ing in 2010, the first year it was im­ple­mented, and 60 per­cent more than who

ELKTON

voted early in 2014.

Two more full days of early vot­ing re­main be­fore bal­lots are to­taled.

The first day of early vot­ing last Thurs­day broke county records but by mid­day Tues­day, vot­ers were still steadily ar­riv­ing at the County Ad­min­is­tra­tion Building in Elkton to par­tic­i­pate in early vot­ing, which ends at 8 p.m. Thurs­day.

Those who forego early vot­ing will still be able to vote from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Elec­tion Day, Nov. 8, at 21 des­ig­nated polling places through­out Ce­cil County.

Although there were no long lines of peo­ple wait­ing to vote Tues­day, ob­servers said the traf­fic con­tin­ues to be busy this week.

“We were a lit­tle slow over the week­end, which we fully an­tic­i­pated, but it’s picked up again Mon­day and Tues­day,” Ce­cil County Elec­tion Di­rec­tor Deb­bie Tow­ery said Tues­day late morn­ing.

The county’s reg­is­tered vot­ers have in­creased from 70,040 in the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion to 71,971 this elec­tion. Reg­is­tered Repub­li­cans in­creased from 27,062

in 2012 to 30,008 in 2016, while reg­is­tered Democrats de­clined from 27,209 in 2012 to 25,166 in 2016. The num­ber of vot­ers who reg­is­tered as “other” in­creased from 15,769 in 2012 to 16,797 in 2016.

Un­der a re­cent change to elec­tion laws, un­reg­is­tered vot­ers can reg­is­ter dur­ing early vot­ing at the County Ad­min­is­tra­tion Building in Elkton, but they

must have proper iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with them, such as a driver’s li­cense or valid photo ID with doc­u­ments show­ing their ad­dress.

Of the to­tal votes cast as of 11 a. m. Tues­day, Democrats cast 2,537, Repub­li­cans cast 3,097 and those reg­is­tered as “other” cast a to­tal of 965 bal­lots.

Cam­paign­ing out­side of the County Ad­min­is­tra­tion Building has been mea­ger this elec­tion, likely due to a lack of com­pe­ti­tion in lo­cal races. Only two lo­cal races are con­tested: the county ex­ec­u­tive race be­tween Repub­li­can Alan Mc­Carthy and

Demo­crat Wayne Tome and the District 1 school board race be­tween in­cum­bent Wil­liam Manlove and chal­lenger Kevin Em­merich.

Although the usual plethora of cam­paign signs line both sides of Ch­e­sa­peake Boule­vard lead­ing up to the early vot­ing site, the num­ber of ac­tual can­di­dates or their sup­port­ers wav­ing at vot­ers as they ar­rive has been no­tably sparse.

The al­lure of the deeply par­ti­san pres­i­den­tial race be­tween Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton and Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump has

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.

Ce­cil County was also one of the few Mary­land coun­ties to back U. S. Sen. Bernie Sanders with a slight edge over the fu­ture nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton.

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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

Elec­tion work­ers help vot­ers Tues­day dur­ing early vot­ing in Elkton.

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