10,000 vote in QA’s dur­ing early vot­ing

Record Observer - - News - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

CENTREVILLE — More than 10,000 peo­ple voted dur­ing early vot­ing in Queen Anne’s County, which is al­most a third of those reg­is­tered in the county, ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from the Mary­land Board of Elec­tions.

All the num­bers statewide, in­clud­ing Queen Anne’s County, are a record for early vot­ing this year, said Donna Dun­can, state Board of Elec­tions spokesper­son. There were min­i­mal prob­lems dur­ing early vot­ing and those prob­lems were usu­ally hu­man er­ror, she said.

Com­pared to the rest of the state for this elec­tion for early vot­ing, Queen Anne’s County had the sec­ond high­est per­cent­age of peo­ple vot­ing out of those reg­is­tered to vote. Tal­bot County had the high­est per­cent­age of voter turn out of those reg­is­tered com­pared to any county through­out Mar yland.

But the ac­tual num­ber of peo­ple who voted dur­ing early vot­ing is a dif­fer­ent story when com­par­ing coun­ties statewide. Mont­gomery County had 656,674 peo­ple vote dur­ing early vot­ing, which is the high­est num­ber statewide for any county.

The ex­act num­bers of those vot­ing and a per­cent­age of reg­is­tered vot­ers per county was posted by the state Board of Elec­tions on the agency’s web­site. For the Mid-Shore:

• Queen Anne’s County, 10,701 peo­ple voted, 30.75 per­cent of those reg­is­tered;

• Tal­bot County, 9,224 peo­ple voted, 34.49 per­cent of those reg­is­tered;

• Caroline County, 3,690 peo­ple voted, 18.93 per­cent of those reg­is­tered;

• Dorch­ester County, 3,695 peo­ple voted, 17.41 per­cent of those reg­is­tered;

• Kent County, 3,364 peo­ple voted, 25.96 per­cent of those reg­is­tered.

All the sta­tis­tics are un­of­fi­cial num­bers and they don’t in­clude num­bers for the Nov. 8 gen­eral elec­tion.

Tim Kingston, chair­man of the Queen Anne’s County Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, of­fered an ex­pla­na­tion as to why the num­bers were so high for Queen Ann’s County. He cited the hotly con­tested pres­i­den­tial elec­tion as one rea­son for the high turnout.

“I would say that this elec­tion is prob­a­bly the big­gest thing we’ve had in pol­i­tics in our coun­try since the 1980s with Rea­gan. The next pres­i­dent has the po­ten­tial to de­ter- mine the Supreme Court with pos­si­bly four po­si­tions, which will de­ter­mine the di­rec­tion of this county,” he said.

He also cited Ques­tion A on the bal­lot, which was a non-bind­ing poll ask­ing the vot­ers if the method of elec­tion of county com­mis­sion­ers should be changed. An­other rea­son for the high turnout was a race be­tween Sharyn Har­low and Tammy Harper for a seat on the Queen Anne’s County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to MSNBC, Queen Anne’s County is the most Repub­li­can or “red­dish” county in the state.

“As a Repub­li­can chair­man, I’m proud of that. We are small, but we are mighty and we vote,” Kingston said.

Repub­li­cans voted more than Democrats in early vot­ing this year, 5,539 to 3,647, ac­cord­ing to the state Board of Elec­tions.

Queen Anne’s County has 34,795 peo­ple reg­is­tered to vote. There were two sites for early vot­ing in Queen Anne’s County. One site was the Kent Is­land Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment in Ch­ester and the other at the Queen Anne’s Of­fice Build­ing on Vincit Street in Centreville.

There were eight days of early vot­ing. On each day, the fire de­part­ment site had the high­est voter turn out of the two sites ex­cept on Sun­day when the county build­ing had the high­est, said Trav Ma­mone, elec­tion clerk for the county board of elec­tions.

In to­tal, the county build­ing had 3,964 peo­ple vot­ing and fire de­part­ment had 6,737, ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from the state Board of Elec­tions.

Also dur­ing early vot­ing this year, more than dou­ble the num­ber of peo­ple voted in Queen Anne’s County com­pared to the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. As pre­vi­ously stated, 10,701 peo­ple voted in Queen Anne’s County dur­ing early vot­ing, up from the 4,020 peo­ple who voted in 2012 or 12.43 per­cent of those reg­is­tered that same year.

For this year’s elec­tion, peo­ple could have re­quested and turned in ab­sen­tee bal­lots up un­til 8 p.m. on Elec­tion Day. As of Fri­day, Nov. 4, a to­tal of 1,504 ab­sen­tee bal­lots were sent and 749 had been re­ceived for Queen Anne’s County.

PHOTO BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

Tom Davis, an elec­tion judge, stands right out­side the early vot­ing site at the Kent Is­land Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment last week.

PHOTO BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

This early vot­ing site at the Kent Is­land Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment had the high­est to­tal num­ber of vot­ers in the county. The other site was at the new county of­fice build­ing in Centreville.

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