A lesson learned about voter turnout numbers from this election: Don’t believe the hype from early voting.
Based on voter turnout stats from this year’s eight-day early voting period, state election board officials were projecting the share of Marylanders voting this year might top 80 percent. After all, more than a fifth of voters showed up during the early voting period, which set a new state record.
However, we didn’t even come close in the end. Preliminarily, it looks like 66 percent of voters showed up at the polls for this year’s election, Maryland Board of Elections administrator Linda Lamone said Thursday. The mark is considerably lower than in past recent presidential elections. Since 2000, at least 75 percent of the state’s eligible voters have registered and voted on Election Day.
Here are the voter turnout percentages from the past nine presidential elections:
The Maryland Board of Elections doesn’t have numbers available online from election years prior to 1984. Even so, this data paints a good recent picture. Maybe the divisive rhetoric and swell of animosity between the two parties’ candidates and supporters didn’t encourage voters to participate this year. Who knows?
Granted, we’re still awaiting the official results, as well as a private audit to confirm them. Maybe the state will save some face for its low turnout numbers in the end.
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