Voting turnout steady across Queen Anne’s
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.
Outside Centreville Elementary signs and supporters greet voters.
Pat Hofmann, Carol Powell, Tracy Smith and Vito Tinelli work in support of their candidates for office.
Amy Poad, an election judge at the Centreville Elementary polling location, and Cindy Swicegood, election judge floater, review documents.
Exiting the polls at Church Hill Elementary is Lois Smith of Kingstown.
Queen Anne’s resident Jerry Lewis scans her ballot with the assistance of election official John Bowers.
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.