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Polls Open For Special Primary To Replace Cummings

Jamyla Krempel

The polls opened to some light rain Tuesday morning in the special primary election to fill the late Congressman Elijah Cummings’ seat representing Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. One West Baltimore elementary school saw a slow but steady stream of voters, though not everyone had their minds made up before casting ballots.


At Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary School in Madison Park, Kayenecha Daughtery said voting was important to her because of the impact her future congressional representative can have on her neighborhood.


“All of this matters when it comes to policies that affect people locally, people who are going to fight for you or your neighborhood or your city or your region or your state, and just making sure that you have adequate education or funding for all the things that we need,” she said.


She said voting is one of the best ways residents can weigh in on the image Baltimore presents to the rest of the country.


“It’s an opportunity that we have in the United States that not everybody gets around the world,” said Monica Castillo Marciano, who said she lives in Bolton Hill. “So even when it’s rainy and most people don’t want to come out, I think it’s really important, and it’s really important to show our kids that we have to go and do it.”


The 7th District includes portions of Baltimore City and Howard and Baltimore Counties. At the northern most precinct in Parkton in rural Baltimore County near the Pennsylvania line, there were no political signs or campaign workers. But people were still showing up to vote.


Alan Lewis, a registered Republican, was asked, considering the heart of the 7th is the Democratic city, if he felt he had been adequately represented.

“Not really,” Lewis said. “We never saw Elijah Cummings at all up here.”

Cummings, a Democrat, died in October. He served in Congress for more than 20 years.

A Democratic voter in Parkton, Elonka, she did not want to give her last name, said she is well aware the 7th is a gerrymandered district that favors her party.

“I’m happy because it was gerrymandered in the other direction for many many years,” she said.

Elonka said Cummings stood for what she believed.

It’s a crowded field. 24 Democrats and 8 Republicans are on the ballot. The winner from each party will square off in the special general election April 28 to finish the rest of Cummings’ term, which ends January 3, 2021.

Hear from voters in northern Baltimore County.

The polls will be open until 8:00 p.m. The winners of the Republican and Democratic primaries will face off at the special general election on April 28. 

Rachel Baye is a reporter for WYPR's newsroom. @RachelBaye
Emily Sullivan is a city hall reporter at WYPR, where she covers all things Baltimore politics. She joined WYPR after reporting for NPR’s national airwaves. There, she was a reporter for NPR’s news desk, business desk and presidential conflicts of interest team. Sullivan won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for an investigation into a Trump golf course's finances alongside members of the Embedded team. She has also won awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association for her use of sound and feature stories. She has provided news analysis on 1A, The Takeaway, Here & Now and All Things Considered.
John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2
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