County breaks early vot­ing record

Nearly 16 per­cent cast bal­lots

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— Nearly 16 per­cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers in Ce­cil County have al­ready cast their bal­lots in the 2016 Pres­i­den­tial Gen­eral Elec­tion, break­ing the county’s record for early vot­ing.

A to­tal of 11,129 of the 71,971 reg­is­tered vot­ers in the county cast their bal­lots dur­ing the early vot­ing pe­riod, which took place Oct. 27 through Nov. 3 at the County Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing in Elk­ton.

Ce­cil County Direc­tor of Elec­tions Deb­bie Tow­ery said her staff was ready for the large turnout and she was not sur­prised.

“I ex­pected about 10,000 to 11,000 early vot­ers given the high pas­sion and in­ter­est in this year’s pres­i­den­tial race,” Tow­ery said Fri­day. “I think it’s great.”

Now, she and her staff have turned their at­ten­tion to the gen­eral elec­tion on Tues­day when polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. at each of the county’s 19 polling places.

“We’ve al­ready shifted vot­ing equip­ment to the polling places,” Tow­ery said, adding

ELK­TON

that a few peo­ple will work over the week­end and fin­ish prepa­ra­tions Mon­day.

The Mary­land State Elec­tion Board re­ported Fri­day that statewide early vot­ing num­bers had nearly dou­bled from four years ago, achiev­ing a record turnout statewide of 22 per­cent.

A to­tal of 5,212 Repub­li­cans cast bal­lots dur­ing the eight days of early vot­ing in Ce­cil County, com­pared to 4,144 Democrats and 1,773 other vot­ers.

The to­tal num­ber of reg­is­tered Repub­li­cans has in­creased by 2,946 since 2012, while the num­ber of reg­is­tered Democrats has de­creased by 2,043 in that same pe­riod in Ce­cil County.

Tow­ery also at­tributes some of the higher early vot­ing num­bers to the fact that this is the first year vot­ers have been able to reg­is­ter and vote on the same day dur­ing early vot­ing.

“Same-day regis­tra­tion is not al­lowed on Elec­tion Day,” she noted.

Tow­ery’s of­fice has re­ceived re­quests for 2,200 ab­sen­tee bal­lots, but she said some of those peo­ple have been re­moved from that list be­cause they de­cided to vote early in­stead.

Spec­u­lat­ing on what im­pact, if any, this higher than usual early vot­ing to­tals may have on Elec­tion Day, Tow­ery said, “I hope our lines will be more man­age­able.”

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.

MAP COUR­TESY OF GOOGLE

The Ch­e­sa­peake Inn is seek­ing to im­prove its cur­rent valet park­ing lot, seen here, with one that would even­tu­ally be self-pay.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

Nearly 16 per­cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers par­tic­i­pated in early vot­ing last week, a county record.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.