10,000 vote in QA’s during early voting
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.
Tom Davis, an election judge, stands right outside the early voting site at the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department last week.
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.