Bal­lot count­ing ends in Queen Anne’s County

Re­sults un­changed

Record Observer - - News - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

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.

PHOTO BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

Work­ers at the Queen Anne’s County Board of Elec­tion counted the sec­ond and last round of ab­sen­tee votes on Fri­day, Nov. 18.

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