Polls report few issues, steady turnout on Election Day
Over 47,000 Charles County residents voted for president on Tuesday
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.”
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.
Joan Madewell and Connie Warner wave “Hillary Clinton for President” and “Thank You” signs outside the La Plata Fire Department polling site Tuesday morning.