On Last Day Of Early Voting, Baltimore City Democrats Encourage Civic Participation — And Patience
Baltimore Democratic nominees gathered outside of Edmondson-Westside High School on Monday morning to encourage all eligible voters throughout the city to cast a ballot before the polls close for good on Tuesday night.
“We cannot afford to have anyone sitting this election out,” said City Council President Brandon Scott, the Democratic nominee for mayor. “You have the future of your city, your state, of your country and the world at hand.”
It’s been a historical election cycle in Maryland and throughout the country: the first day of early voting was the busiest day of all time for pre-election day voting in the state. By noon Monday, in-person early state voters had officially surpassed 2016's early voting turnout. More than three-quarters of Maryland mail-in ballots have been returned.
All in all, more than 96 million Americans have already voted — that’s over two-thirds of 2016’s turnout.
Scott thinks fellow Democrat Joe Biden will best President Donald Trump, but urged patience amid an election hinging on swing states such as Pennsylvania, which may take days to count mail-in ballots.
“What we have to do is be patient, wait till every vote is counted so that we can remove all doubt that Vice President Biden will be the next president of the United States,” Scott said. “We just have to wait it out and [Trump] will be gone and we all will celebrate.”
In deep blue Baltimore, Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 10 to 1; Scott will likely be biting his nails less fervently than Biden on Tuesday night. Running against Scott in the mayor’s race are Republican Shannon Wright and Independent Bob Wallace.
Scott was joined by North Baltimore Councilman Bill Henry, who is running unopposed for city comptroller.
“If you haven't heard that this is the most important election of our lifetime, you have not been listening,” Henry said. “This is the time to make a difference.”
State Delegate Nick Mosby, the Democratic nominee for city council president running against Republican Jovani Patterson, defended the Democratic stronghold in Baltimore, saying that the complete turnover of citywide offices in December is a badly needed fresh start.
“In this pivotal moment, where we will be hopefully coming out of COVID, the residual impacts will play on systemic issues that have already affected our city greatly. We need folks that are going to be competent, that are going to be at the wheel,” he said.
Police officers and security teams have been out at the polls since last Monday, and voters who hit the polls Tuesday can expect them too.
At a news conference last Friday, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said he’s restricted officer leave this week and is preparing for any potential issues surrounding the election and its results, such as voter intimidation or unrest.
“There will be in excess of 300 extra officers available to deploy to areas of need,” Harrison said Friday. “Our officers are being deployed to be highly engaged and highly visible and to remind people to wear their mask and to practice social distancing.”
The last day of early voting wraps up at 8 p.m on Monday, when polls close. Polls open on Election Day at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Not all early voting centers will serve as Election Day voting centers; voters can check polling locations on the Maryland State Board of Elections’ website.