Ballot counting ends in Queen Anne’s County
CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Board of Elections has finished counting absentee ballots and provisional ones and the results were sent to the state board of elections. Write-in candidates were also counted.
More than 26,000 people voted in Queen Anne’s County this past election, which is about 75 percent of those registered to vote, county board elections officials said. More exact figures will be available later.
Results from counting all those votes didn’t change the outcome for any local races and Question A was still voted down.
Votes for write-in candidate Tammy Harper for a seat on the county Board of Education appeared on the state board of elections website on Friday, Nov. 18. Previously, the site listed her vote totals as not reported.
Harper received a total of 5,195 votes taking into account early voting, election day voting, and absentee and provisional ballots. She was beaten by Sharyn G. Harlow, who received 15,446 votes for the school board seat, or 74.3 percent for Harlow and 25 percent for Harper.
Write-ins are manually tallied and entered into the election management system, said Brittani Thomas, director of the county election board. If people wrote Harper in the District 3, it wouldn’t be counted, she said. Harper ran in District 4 for the seat.
The county board of elections doesn’t keep numbers of those write-ins that are rejected.
“We don’t count them. We don’t track them,” said Thomas. But the whole ballot isn’t discarded, just that particular write-in vote.
The vote totals are still unofficial and the state can’t make the results official until all counties reported all the votes, said Donna Duncan, spokesperson for the state board of election. As of Friday, Nov. 18, some counties still haven’t reported the vote numbers for provisional ballots and absentee ballots.
Workers at the Queen Anne’s County Board of Election finished all counting. During the canvassing of the provisional ballots on Wednesday, Nov 16, a total of 51 ballots were rejected because the people weren’t registered, Thomas said. A total of 337 ballots were accepted.
On Nov. 18, the final absentee ballots were counted by the local election board. There were 143 to count.
There was another seat on the county Board of Education on the ballot for District 3. Beverly G. Kelley won with 18,798 votes. No other candidate filed on time in opposition, but there were 1,127 write-ins, which weren’t named on the state election board website. The outcome equates to 94.3 percent for Kelley and 5.7 percent with write-ins.
Question A was soundly defeated even when considering early voting, the Nov. 8 election, all absentee ballots, and provisional ballots. A total of 11,587 people voted in favor of Question A, 13,635 voted against or 45.9 percent yes votes and 54.1 percent no votes.
It was a non-binding straw poll asking the voter’s opinion on by-district voting. A yes vote supported by-district voting and a no vote was against it.
By-district voting means four county commissioners would be elected by people in their districts and one elected at large instead of all five commissioners elected at large. It would require action by General Assembly to implement the change.
Queen Anne’s County vot- ers choose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by a large margin, considering early voting, the Nov. 8 election, and all absentee ballots and provisional ballots.
A total of 16,993 people voted for Trump, 7,973 for Clinton in Queen Anne’s County, but Clinton won the state.
For U.S. Senator, voters in the county choose Kathy Szeliga, a Republican, over Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, with a vote of 17,006 to 8,470 or 65.1 percent to 32.4 percent. Statewide, Hollen won.
In the Congressional District 1 in Queen Anne’s County, Andy Harris, a Republican, received 18,269 votes, easily beating Joe Werner, a Democrat, who got 6,705. Harris won the district.
Workers at the Queen Anne’s County Board of Election counted the second and last round of absentee votes on Friday, Nov. 18.