Eager Marylanders Set Record for Turnout on First Day of Early Voting

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Courtesy Mayor SRB/Twitter
Courtesy Mayor SRB/Twitter

Citizens around Baltimore and the rest of the state are clearly excited to get to the polls this election season. State officials say a record 125,914 voters showed up for day one of early voting yesterday.

City Board of Elections Director said the 9,539 voters in Baltimore who came out set a record for the city as well. All but about 880 of those voters were Democrats.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was among those who packed the lines that lasted all day at city polling stations. “I love coming to this polling site,” she told WBAL-TV at the voting station on Cold Spring Lane. “It’s almost like a family reunion.”

She wasn’t shy about showing her support for her Democratic political kin.

The day passed with no reported malfunctions or other woes at polling sites around the state. Armistead Jones, director of the City Board of Elections, said on a phone call that all went well at the stations — “very little problems, if any” — and that all who showed up were “very patient with the lines.” He noted those lines could be cut down if registered voters bring their filled-out sample ballots that should have arrived in their mailboxes out to the polls, and simply transfer their picks right onto their official ballot.

Early voting began on Thursday and runs until Thursday, Nov. 3. Stations are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. There are six early voting stations here in the city, and 63 others in counties around the state. Here’s the full list.

To participate early and avoid the lines on Nov. 8, all a registered voters need is proof of residence, such as an ID, a paycheck or a utility bill.

Maryland has made some changes to its voting system this year, bringing its absentee voting system fully online and making the system more accessible for disabled voters. With these changes and the evident enthusiasm, we can expect to see some high numbers for voter turnout by the time it’s all said and done.

Ethan McLeod is an associate editor for Baltimore Fishbowl.

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