Vot­ing turnout steady across Queen Anne’s

Record Observer - - FRONT PAGE - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — Polling places across Queen Anne’s saw record and near record turnouts for the midterm Gen­eral Elec­tion. Both par­ties were well rep­re­sented along with a wide age range of vot­ers. By the end of the night, 22,057 bal­lots had been cast in Queen Anne’s County.

In Church Hill, 91-year-old Lois Smith of Kingstown ar­rived to cast her bal­lot. Smith said she was happy to vote as al­ways, not­ing she had

been in­clined to take ad­van­tage of early vot­ing, but de­cided against nav­i­gat­ing the con­struc­tion in Centreville. Smith also was the hands down win­ner if there were a con­test of most pa­tri­otic dressed, as she daz­zled those in the park­ing lot of Church Hill El­e­men­tary with her flag wo­ven sweater and red, white and blue en­sem­ble.

Centreville El­e­men­tary School was for the first year a com­bined polling place pulling vot­ers from both North­brook and Sym­phony Vil­lage along with the res­i­dents from the town of Centreville. It was non stop all day, said Elec­tion Judge Amy Poad. Even with the in­clement weather early in the day there were 24 vot­ers in line at 7 a.m. She said it was the high­est turnout she has seen serv­ing as elec­tion judge in the past three elec­tions.

Cindy Swice­good an elec­tion judge floater work­ing with Poad, agreed that not only was it a very good turnout, but the process had run very smoothly. By 2 p.m. elec­tion work­ers at CES had as­sisted 1,002 vot­ers with cast­ing their bal­lots. The 2018 elec­tion had as­sem­bled the best (elec­tion staff) team ever in the 3-2 dis­trict, noted Poad.

On the outer edge of the school park­ing lot friendly cam­paign sup­port­ers greeted vot­ers and helped di­rect traf­fic. Among those were Devone Com­egys, with the Queen Anne’s County Ed­u­ca­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, and Stephanie Zeiler and Greg Har­ri­son. Across the cor­ner, Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann’s mother Pat Hof­mann, Com­mis­sioner Jim Mo­ran’s mother-in-law Carol Pow­ell and Tracy Smith and Vito Tinelli cam­paigned.

In Church Hill, fam­ily mem­bers also sup­ported their can­di­dates, in­clud­ing Chris and Sharon Rhodes and Tracey Wil­son. It is good to see fam­ily sup­port­ing fam­ily, said Sharon Rhodes. More than 900 vot­ers had passed through the polling place at Church Hill El­e­men­tary by 4 p.m., said elec­tion judge Brenda Spence, call­ing it a very good turnout for Church Hill.

Also brav­ing the rain, in Crump­ton was Patti John­son help­ing cam­paign for friends out­side the Crump­ton Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment. John­son had cheer­fully com­mit­ted to wav­ing and greet­ing vot­ers all day with noth­ing more than an um­brella to pro­tect her from the el­e­ments.

One voter who de­clined to be named said she had only re­cently be­came in­ter­ested in ex­er­cis­ing her right to vote and did so to­day. There were a lot of can­di­dates to choose from early in the pri­maries and peo­ple we hadn’t seen run for of­fice be­fore, she said, that got her at­ten­tion. “It’s im­por­tant to be heard, but I also hope they fol­low through once elected, that we haven’t seen the last of them and they just dis­ap­pear af­ter cam­paign­ing,” she added.

At Sudlersville Se­nior Cen­ter, Chief Elec­tion Judge Dar­leen All­wein said in her es­ti­ma­tion the turnout was sec­ond only to the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion be­tween Don­ald Trump and Hil­lary Clin­ton. They re­ported 517 vot­ers by 4 p.m. and vot­ing was steady all day, she said.

One cou­ple out­side Sudlersville Se­nior Cen­ter said they were vot­ing this elec­tion for the gover­nor’s race, but also to help the school board. The par­ent of a high school stu­dent at Queen Anne’s County High School, the woman said she is con­cerned over fund­ing and pro­grams be­ing cut from the cur­ricu­lum. Mak­ing sure elected of­fi­cials hear what the par­ents are say­ing and that both the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion and County Com­mis­sion­ers work with each other is more im­por­tant than ever, she said.

HAN­NAH COMBS

Out­side Centreville El­e­men­tary signs and sup­port­ers greet vot­ers.

HAN­NAH COMBS

Pat Hof­mann, Carol Pow­ell, Tracy Smith and Vito Tinelli work in sup­port of their can­di­dates for of­fice.

HAN­NAH COMBS

Amy Poad, an elec­tion judge at the Centreville El­e­men­tary polling lo­ca­tion, and Cindy Swice­good, elec­tion judge floater, re­view doc­u­ments.

HAN­NAH COMBS

Ex­it­ing the polls at Church Hill El­e­men­tary is Lois Smith of Kingstown.

HAN­NAH COMBS

Queen Anne’s res­i­dent Jerry Lewis scans her bal­lot with the as­sis­tance of elec­tion of­fi­cial John Bow­ers.

KRISTIAN JAMIE

Con­nie Mor­ris of Ch­ester­town looks on as a voter is pro­cessed at the Queen Anne’s County Board of Elec­tions precinct lo­ca­tion on Elec­tion Day.

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