Vot­ers flock to the polls in QA

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Front Page - bay­times@kibay­times.com By HAN­NAH COMBS and DOUG BISHOP

CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne’s County saw an im­pres­sive turnout of early vot­ers for the gen­eral elec­tion with 25.25 per­cent of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers cast­ing their bal­lots dur­ing early vot­ing — sec­ond high­est rate of turnout in the state. Queen Anne’s was led by Tal­bot and fol­lowed by Kent in terms of early vot­ing turnout. Day one of early vot­ing proved to be the most pop­u­lar of the eight days to vote early, but each sub­se­quent day saw a steady turnout at the polls. Many res­i­dents said they were pleased to be able to avoid the longer lines of­ten as­so­ci­ated with peak vot­ing hours on Elec­tion Day.

Ac­cord­ing to Queen Anne’s Board of Elec­tions Direc­tor Chris­tine Jones, there were 1,024 ab­sen­tee bal­lots re­quested here. As of Nov. 5, about 550 of those

had been re­turned, Jones said.

A heavy turnout was pre­dicted for Elec­tion Day on Nov. 6 and lines of vot­ers were wait­ing to cast their bal­lots when polls opened at 7 a.m. on Tues­day. Elec­tion of­fi­cials at Kent Is­land High School re­ported nearly 30 peo­ple were wait­ing when they opened the doors. Gra­sonville El­e­men­tary had 27 peo­ple wait­ing; Mat­a­peake El­e­men­tary of­fi­cials re­ported 28 in line and said 129 peo­ple had cast their bal­lots within just the first hour. At the Kent Is­land Li­brary branch, 23 vot­ers were wait­ing when doors opened, and even the United Com­mu­ni­ties Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment — a tra­di­tion­ally slower polling place on south­ern Kent Is­land — re­ported 10 peo­ple wait­ing in line.

Rain did not seem to be dis­cour­ag­ing peo­ple from com­ing out, of­fi­cials said. A steady stream of vot­ers was re­ported through­out the morn­ing.

Tan­ner Mad­den, 9, and his lit­tle brother Gar­ret, 7, ac­com­pa­nied their mom Jenny when she cast her bal­lot Tues­day morn­ing at Kent Is­land High School. Af­ter­ward Tan­ner said it was “cool” watch­ing his mom vote and added he “can’t wait ‘til I’m old enough to vote.”

Sev­eral lo­cal races were pre­dicted to be very close based on the num­bers re­ported dur­ing the pri­mary, in­clud­ing two spots on the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion, and races against in­cum­bent County Com­mis­sion­ers Jack Wil­son, Jim Mo­ran and Steve Wil­son.

All votes cast dur­ing early vot­ing are counted. All ab­sen­tee bal­lots sub­mit­ted on time with the re­quired sig­na­ture are counted, even if they will not change the out­come of an elec­tion. Votes cast dur­ing early vot­ing and by ab­sen­tee bal­lot count just like votes cast on elec­tion day.

Early vot­ing elec­tion re­sults will be posted af­ter the polls close on elec­tion day, Jones said. Elec­tion re­sults will also be avail­able from the State Board of Elec­tions and the lo­cal boards of elec­tions and are avail­able to view on­line by county.

As of Oct. 20, the State Board of Elec­tions re­ported 35,648 el­i­gi­ble vot­ers regis­tered in Queen Anne’s County.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

The line of regis­tered vot­ers at 7:03 a.m. Tues­day, Nov. 6, at the Kent Is­land High School Polling Place. There were 27 vot­ers when the doors opened, but the line quickly dis­si­pated with steady flow of vot­ers fol­low­ing dur­ing the morn­ing.

Wait­ing out­side the Ro­man­coke fire­house polling place, cam­paign en­thu­si­asts hold the signs in the park­ing lot. From the left, Judy Corchiarino, Fran­cis Roudiez, Ed­die Miller, Lois Saun­ders, Sue Wil­son and Jayne Raf­ferty. It was re­ported by the head elec­tion judge that 10 peo­ple were wait­ing out­side the fire­house when the polls opened. There was a steady stream of vot­ers through­out the morn­ing, even as rain­fall in­creased.

First through the doors at 7 a.m. sharp at Kent Is­land High School, from the left, David Ochinero and Louise and Jim Dutkowsky. Al­most 30 vot­ers were wait­ing to come in to the gym­na­sium to vote when the polls opened.

Jenny Mad­den of Stevensville pre­pares to mark her pa­per bal­lot with her sons, Tan­ner, 9, and Gar­ret, 7, look­ing on. The Mad­dens were at Kent Is­land High School vot­ing at 7:10 a.m. Tues­day, Nov. 6. Af­ter­ward, Tan­ner com­mented it was “cool” watch­ing his mom vote, and said he “can’t wait ‘til I’m old enough to vote.”

PHO­TOS BY DOUG BISHOP

Kent Is­land High School polling place scan­ner judge Lolita Jus­tice-Watkins greets vot­ers Tues­day morn­ing, Nov. 6, hand­ing out the new “I Voted in Queen Anne’s County” stick­ers. The orig­i­nal stick­ers with the Amer­i­can flag just stated “I Voted.”

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