Friday, September 10, 2010

Early Primary Voting in Maryland Ends, Remainder must VOTE Next Tuesday, September 14

from The Baltimore Sun

Maryland's first experience with early voting is now over, and it yielded a fairly small turnout.-- just about 77,000 voters out of a possible 3.2 million.

The many voters who didn't weigh in early on the primary election can do so on Tuesday. The State Elections Board published final figures this morning, and they show that yesterday, the final day of the weeklong early voting period, was by far the busiest with more than 18,000 casting ballots.

If the primary election draws its usual 30 percent voter turnout, early voting will account for about 8 percent of the ballots cast. Early voting researchers, including Paul Gronke at Reed College, say that seems low. States with established early voting systems typically see no less than 20 percent of ballots cast that way -- though primary election data is fairly unstudied.

Maryland election officials say the turnout was about what they expected. As we reported this morning in The Sun, early voting coincided with Labor Day weekend, the start of school and Rosh Hashana. High-profile early voters, including Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., publicized the system's debut.

One plus of the small turnout, says state elections administrator Linda Lamone, is that it gave polling judges a chance to hone their skills before what they expect to be the far busier early voting period that will precede the Nov. 2 general election.

More early voting stats after the jump.

Total number of early voters: 77,288

Biggest day: Thursday, with 18,081

Smallest day:Saturday, with 8,891

Early Democrats: 54,770 (about 2.8 percent of registered Dems)

Early Republicans: 21656 (about 2.4 percent of registered GOPers)

Talbot and Kent counties showed best turnout: nearly 7 percent voting early

Prince George's County wins by sheer numbers: 14,551

Washington County had lowest percentage early voting turnout: barely 1 percent

* Numbers provided by Board of Elections. Numbers do not include provisional or absentee ballots. Results will be counted the day of the primary election.


Opus #6 said...

I hope conservatives turn out in large numbers.

Joe Conservative said...

It's interesting to note that it isn't Republicans who are energized in this election. Those who ARE energized (Libertarians, Independents & Tea Party supporters) won't show up in the official numbers (since they're not allowed to vote in primaries) until the November election.

In 2012 I'm considering registering as a Democrat. I'm also hoping to convince others to do likewise so that there is at least SOME chance of changing the State's overwhelmingly liberal politics from the inside... before issues ever reach the electorate. More conservative candidates from BOTH parties are what is needed and what we should ultimately seek.

In 2008, relatively moderate Democrats in Maryland were losing their primaries to ultra-Leftists. THAT has GOT to stop. The Tea Party mustn't become what the Democratic Party has become, the captive entity of SDS'ers and 60's radicals.

And who knows, if we could get LARGE numbers of currently unaffiliated conservative and libertarian voters to actively SWITCH political affiliations on a case-by-case candidate/electoral basis... who KNOWS what kind of transformative effect on the political environment THAT might have. Perhaps it might be just enough to prevent the Tea Party from falling into the "3rd" permanent minority party status that other movements of Independents have succumbed to.

Joe Conservative said...

btw - Thanks for stopping by to comment.