Polls re­port few is­sues, steady turnout on Election Day

Over 47,000 Charles County res­i­dents voted for pres­i­dent on Tues­day

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU and ANDREW RICHARD­SON jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com arichard­son@somd­news.com

Though Hil­lary Clin­ton would cap­ture Mary­land’s 10 elec­toral votes, the dis­sent was ev­i­dent among Charles County vot­ers go­ing to the polls Tues­day morn­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to un­of­fi­cial re­sults pub­lished by the Mary­land State Board of Elec­tions, of the 73,306 to­tal votes counted in the county, 46,063 vot­ers cast their bal­lot for Hil­lary Clin­ton, and 24,163 for Don­ald Trump, the next pres­i­dent of the United States.

“This is def­i­nitely a change election,” said Bill Dot­son, chair­man of the Charles County Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, as he handed out fly­ers for U.S. Se­nate can­di­date Kathy Szeliga in the park­ing lot out­side the Mil­ton Somers Mid­dle School polling sta­tion on Tues­day.

“Peo­ple want change. I’ve heard ‘drain the swamp’ from peo­ple. They want

to drain the swamp and get rid of the ca­reer pol- iti­cians. We’ve got to get new peo­ple in there,” Dot­son said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Mary- land State Board of Elec­tions, 47,186 Charles County res­i­dents voted on Election Day. An­other 26,120 par­tic­i­pated in ear- ly vot­ing.

By 10:30 a.m., Alu­sine Kanu, chief judge at the Somers polling site, said ap­prox­i­mately 300 peo­ple had come in to vote.

“We had a lit­tle bit of a rush in the morn­ing, then it started dwin­dling down, so now it’s pick­ing up a bit,” Kanu said.

Kanu said there were only mi­nor is­sues with the pa­per bal­lots used this year.

“The only thing I no­ticed was when they cut the bal­lots, if there’s a tear on the bot­tom or on the top, the sys­tem does not read it. It spits it out. So ev­ery so of­ten I have to give them a new bal- lot. Other­wise there is no prob­lem,” Kanu said.

Julie Swan brought her grand­daugh­ter to the Somers poll Tues­day morn­ing.

“I ex­plained to her that we were vot­ing for the pres­i­dent and that I would be get­ting a sticker,” Swan said.

Swan said she was vot- ing for Repub­li­can Don- ald Trump.

“I feel strongly for Trump be­cause I can’t stand Hil­lary,” Swan said.

At the La Plata Fire De­part­ment polling site, chief judge Jan­ice Gil­roy said there were no is­sues and turnout was about what she ex­pected.

“It’s been steady,” roy said.

Out­side at the end of the park­ing lot, Joan Madewell and Con­nie Warner waved “Hil­lary Clin­ton for Pres­i­dent” signs at pass­ing driv­ers and “thank you” signs at those leav­ing the polling site.

Madewell said the mood among Hil­lary Clin­ton sup­port­ers was ju­bi­lant.

“It’s been very pos­i­tive. We’ve had some waves, smiles, peo­ple blow­ing kisses. We even had some peo­ple here danc­ing,” Madewell said.

Warner ob­served the pres­i­den­tial seemed to di­vide fam­i­lies.

“We had one cou­ple, he went thumbs down, she went thumbs up,” Warner said. Gil- that race some

Out­side Gen­eral Small- wood Mid­dle School in In­dian Head, Char­lene Haynie, a re­tired high school gov­ern­ment teacher, said she was un­happy with her choices on the bal­lot this year.

“Not that I would ever ex­pect a can­di­date to be 100 per­cent the way I feel, but I don’t think ei­ther of the ma­jor can­di­dates are what we re­ally need,” Haynie said. “I taught gov­ern­ment for a long time, and this is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”

At Matthew Hen­son Mid­dle School, elec­tion­eers from both par­ties stood out­side the polling lo­ca­tion, ad­vo­cat­ing for their can­di­dates.

Al­though too young to vote just yet, 13-year-olds Zin­nia Robert­son, Jurnee MacLan­don and Janiyih Brand were fully en­gaged in the election, hold­ing up two Hil­lary Clin­ton and Tim Kaine signs and a Steny Hoyer sign as well.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant for our fu­tures,” Robert­son said. “It’s im­por­tant for ev­ery­body, but es­pe­cially our fu­tures be­cause we’re go­ing to have to live with who­ever our par­ents pick as the next pres­i­dent.”

“We’re try­ing to en­cour­age peo­ple to vote for Hil­lary Clin­ton be­cause we just think she’s just a re­ally

good can­di­date,” she added.

Nearby, Paula Tay­lor, who em­pha­sized how im­por­tant each vote was, pa­trolled the park­ing lot with fliers sup­port­ing Kathy Szeliga.

“It’s def­i­nitely a crazy election. It’s un­pre­dict- able, but Mary­land needs it,” she said. “I think we’re in a very ten­der spot as a coun­try, and I think we’re just a won­der­ful coun­try, but some­times you have to get knocked down to re­al­ize that you’ve got to get your­self up.”

“Hope­fully ev­ery­thing will work out for the best,

and Mary­land will be bet­ter with Kathy in the Se­nate,” Tay­lor con­tin­ued. “And hope­fully ev­ery­one has got­ten out to vote. It’s your duty as an Amer­i­can citizen — it’s your priv­i­lege as an Amer­i­can citizen — to get out and vote. No mat­ter who you vote for, just get out and vote.”

Vot­ers leav­ing the polls at John Hansen Mid­dle School in Wal­dorf had mixed opin­ions as well.

“I voted for Hil­lary. I def­i­nitely ap­pre­ci­ate what she stands for,” said Ash­ley Snow, a 21-year-old who grew up in the area. “Some of the things that the Repub­li­can Party has is def­i­nitely ques­tion­able.”

While she con­ceded that there were a few things Clin­ton has done that she doesn’t agree with, “she’s def­i­nitely who I leaned to­wards more be­tween the two.”

Though, Snow felt con­fi­dent that she would pick up where Barack Obama left off in im­prov­ing the lives of cit­i­zens.

“I’ve def­i­nitely seen a lot of im­prove­ment that has come with our past pres­i­dent, so I’m look­ing for- ward for us to be­ing able to push for­ward into the fu­ture, and just open up bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties for ev­ery­body, re­gard­less of gender, age, race,” Snow said. “It’s im­por­tant for us now. It’s im­por­tant for ev­ery­body to unify, get to­gether, and just sup­port what the Amer­i­can dream is sup­posed to be.”

Keith Kil­gore, a union printer who says he has voted Repub­li­can since Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter, said the choice was easy for him, and that he’s ready for election sea­son to fi­nally come to an end.

“I am sick and tired of the whole process this time around be­cause of the lies, the de­ceit, and the me­dia bias, and I’m con­fi­dent of the me­dia bias, I’ve seen it first hand,” he said. “… I don’t re­ally care for Don­ald Trump, but I’m vot­ing against Hil­lary rot­ten Clin­ton. She said it straight out: I’m a de­plorable.”

“I’ve paid my dues. I’m a tax­payer. I go to work ev­ery­day,” Kil­gore added, “and for her to call me a de­plorable?”

“This coun­try is swirling in the toi­let bowl and I’m afraid it’s go­ing to go down the crap­per. I re­ally am; I’m be­ing hon­est,” he said. “The hope and change? We have no hope, and by God I hope it changes.”

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDREW RICHARD­SON

Al­though too young to vote just yet, 13-year-olds Zin­nia Robert­son, Jurnee MacLan­don and Janiyih Brand were fully en­gaged on election day out­side Matthew Hen­son Mid­dle School in In­dian Head.

STAFF PHOTO BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

Joan Madewell and Con­nie Warner wave “Hil­lary Clin­ton for Pres­i­dent” and “Thank You” signs out­side the La Plata Fire De­part­ment polling site Tues­day morn­ing.

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