Courtesy Baltimore City BOE
Courtesy Baltimore City BOE

Day one of early voting around Maryland was big, with around 125,000 people showing up, including just under 10,000 in Baltimore. Not much has changed in the days since, with the state raking in similar ballot tallies even a week later.

As Marion Winik pointed out yesterday, this year’s high-stakes presidential election season could have some serious consequences on our nation. However, there are other factors behind the high early turnout this year. Here in Baltimore, we have a mayor’s race contested by Democratic candidate Catherine Pugh, the well-supported Green Party candidate Josh Harris, Republican candidate Alan Walden and Democratic challenger and former mayor Sheila Dixon, running as a write-in candidate. There are also congressional seats up for grabs, namely those of outgoing Sen. Barbara Mikulski and incumbent Rep. John Sarbanes, as well as City Council seats here in Baltimore.

All of these factors, along with the presidential race, are driving high voter turnout here in Baltimore. Last night, the City Board of Elections tweeted that more than 10,000 people came out to vote on day 7, the highest daily tally yet. On day 6, nearly 8,800 showed up to the city’s six polling stations. Even on Halloween, around 8,700 voters came out.

Our Biggest Day Yet! Stand by for numbers!

— Baltimore City Elections (@Bmore_Elections) November 3, 2016

Statewide, the Maryland Board of Elections reported nearly 124,000 people came out to the polls in their districts yesterday, only around 2,000 shy of the first day. Another 110,000 showed up the day before. In total, per unofficial figures from the state elections board, they’ve received more than 726,000 votes. Today will push that total even further as people get out to the polls on the last day of early voting. Click here to view the 2016 Maryland Early Voting Centers.

We’ll be looking for the official totals after early voting has closed, but even before Nov. 8, this year has already given us a historic election season. With such high turnout already, maybe the lines won’t be quite as bad on Election Day next week.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...