Long lines and malfunctions hindered the the kickoff to Election Day at several of Baltimore’s polling stations.
Beth Am Synagogue in Reservoir Hill was among the locations that opened late, despite being scheduled to start accepting ballots at 7 a.m. today. According to the Baltimore Brew, the polling place serves two precincts and has an equal number of ballot scanners – one more than most polling places in the city. However, one of them went down, causing a delayed start and a backed-up line.
Personnel issues apparently added to the problems there, with some judges not showing up and one reportedly throwing a fit, according to the Sun.
Other locations with reported delays included Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School in Greenmount West.
As for turnout across the city, the long lines are a sign people are eager to vote this year. More than a fifth of the state has already cast ballot during early voting this year.
Statewide, Board of Elections spokeswoman Nikki Charlson said turnout is looking strong and that the difficulties seem relatively minimal. She noted the state knew of only two precincts opening late in Baltimore, and a “handful” elsewhere across the state. However, they represented a very small fraction of the 1,989 precincts in the state’s 24 counties, she noted.
“I think we have a healthy turnout,” Charlson said, adding, “We expect there to be an evening rush as there usually is.”
Voters are known to crowd polling stations during the morning and evening hours. “If the evening rush mirrors the morning rush, we ask voters to be patient and to be in line by 8 o’clock.”
That’s the closing time for polls around the state. However, as long as you’ve got your place in line by then, rest assured that your vote will count.
We’ll keep you updated tonight as the results start to pour in.
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