- On Air Program Guide
- A Blue View
- Brain Talk
- Cellar Notes
- Choral Arts Classics
- The Environment in Focus
- Gil Sandler’s Baltimore Stories
- Humanities Connection
- Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast
- Midday with Dan Rodricks
- The Morning Economic Report
- Radio Kitchen
- The Signal
- Take Five
- Your Maryland
- Public Commentary
- War of 1812 Stories
Election Day: Maryland Votes
You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.
November 6, 2012
Maryland’s voters went to the polls today in large numbers. It’s too early to say whether it’s a record-breaking turn-out, but WYPR’s news staff reports long lines at polling places throughout the state. Here’s Joel McCord.
It didn’t seem to matter which polling place you went to today, the lines were longer than anyone had seen them in a long time, maybe ever.
There was Anne Marie Sebring at Sparks Elementary school in Baltimore County.
Anne Marie Sebring
“Much slower, I mean I’ve lived here, or voted here for 20 years. Generally you can go in; maybe you have a little wait, but very rarely. Usually you can walk right in.”
Or Melanie Keller at Arundel High School in Gambrills.
“This is the longest line I’ve ever had to wait in voting. 0015 Hour and five minutes. 0020 Normally it’s in and out in 10 minutes, so…”
Inevitably, those long waits led to complaints about irregularities.
Meredith Curtis, communications director for the Maryland ACLU, said they have received complaints of long lines, some isolated cases of broken voting machines and a printer failing in one polling place in Prince George’s County that led to a three hour wait to vote.
She said they also had complaints from voters at polling places where two precincts voted together and it was unclear which line was which.
“And then when they got up to check in they were in the wrong line and they had to go back to another long line to get their right to vote.”
There was a complaint about a Montgomery County police officer in uniform, inside the boundary allowed for electioneering at a polling place in Silver Spring, passing out literature on a local referendum question. The ACLU said they were investigating .
There also was a woman in Greenbelt who waited in line for two hours only to be told her Maryland voter registration had been cancelled because she had voted in Florida; except she said she hadn’t moved to Florida, nor had she voted there.
And there was a woman in Gambrills whose name was on the print out of the voter rolls, but not in the electronic data base. It turned out she had been out of the country and failed to update certain information with the Board of Elections.
Both women got provisional ballots.
Election judges at several polling places said they had lines at their doors at 6:30 this morning, a half hour before the polls were to open. Johnnie Jowers, 81, said he had arrived at the fire station on Harford Road at 5 a.m. and waited in his car until 6 before he got in line.
“I just like to get here and get it over with. I was too tied up to vote early.”
Geena McCall, a 20 year old Morgan State student, was waiting in line with him to vote for the first time.
“Well, actually I have been excited to do it, but It’s always been something straight forward in my face, so it’ something I was planning to do anyways…It’s very dominant throughout my family. And it has been, so, why not?”
Surprisingly, there were few people electioneering at many polling places. Kristen Watson, 27, Catholic and a Republican, was all alone in front of Rolling Knolls Elementary School just outside of Annapolis, handing out literature urging people to vote for the same sex marriage referendum.
“Some people are very kind and just say thank you and take the material, some people will tell me thank you, I have their vote, some people say absolutely not. So I get a wide variety of reactions. But everyone has been at least pleasant.”
There were only two people passing out literature in front of White Oak Middle School in Montgomery County early this morning. One was lobbying for Question 7, gambling expansion. And the other, Janice Goldwater was out promoting yes votes on same sex marriage. Goldwater, a 56-year-old wife and mother says all people should have the right to get married.
"I’ve been blessed to be married myself for 32 years. I have four children. I know that children do best when parents have the security and the legal rights of marriage and I believe that all children should have the right to be raised in a married family."
The exception was Prince Georges County, where electioneers on both sides of the gambling issue made up small armies, backed up by a blizzard of lawn signs. Vans carried supplies from place to place, and prominent highways near the site of the proposed casino on the Potomac River were blanketed with the message to “Vote yes on Question 7” or “Get the Facts” and vote no.
At Bowie High School, Wes Hubbert, a teacher there, said he voted for Mitt Romney for President, against same sex marriage and for gambling expansion.
“I’m a high school teacher here in Bowie, Maryland, and I thought it would be a means of adding more revenue into the coffers for public education.”
The lines faded a bit at most polling places late in the afternoon, but they were expected to grow again later in the day.
With Art Buist, Gwendolyn Glenn, Karen Hosler and Maryrose Madden, I’m Joel McCord, reporting for 88.1, WYPR.
IN FOCUS TODAY
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 6:35am
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 5:05am
The Baltimore City Council approved Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s $2.4 billion operating...
Monday, June 17, 2013 - 6:35am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Scott Calvert of the Baltimore Sun talk about how the City Council is...