Voters flock to the polls in QA
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.
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.”
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.”