- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
County residents who were unable to take advantage of early voting this year made their way to one of 23 polling places in the county to cast their vote on Election Day.
This year, voter turnout has been heavy with approximately 19,827 votes cast as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. In Calvert County there are 55,072 registered voters as of Aug. 2, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections.
In the 2010 General Election, 32,236 county residents of the then 56,300 registered voters cast their ballot, according to the county board of election’s official results.
As of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, 20 precincts reported a total of 10,761 voters, or 18.28 percent of registered voters in the county, explained Mary Depelteau, Calvert County Board of Elections office specialst. Of those voters, she said, 4,556 were Democrats, 4,488 were Republicans and 1,717 were unaffilited, independent or other.
Early voting in Calvert totaled 7,040 or 11.96 percent of those registered to vote in the county, Depelteau said Tuesday. Of the early voters 3,275 were Democrats, 2,740 were Republicans and 1,025 were unaffiliated, independent or other.
In addition, she said, the number of issued absentee ballolts, which are to be postmarked by Nov. 6 to count, totaled 2,803.
As of Tuesday afternoon, she said the board of elections staff were still receiving and calculating those ballots, but about 2,026 had been received, with about 879 of them being registered Democrats, 844 registered Republicans and 303 unaffiliated, independent or other. In order for absentee ballots to count in the elction, the ballot results also must be entered by Nov. 16, Depelteau said.
Chesapeake Beach couple Ken and Kim Maloit said they had different areas of importance on the ballot this year.
Ken said he was focused on national issues and Kim said she was focused on ballot questions.
“Locally, we’re doing pretty good,” Ken said, adding that on a national level, he was concerned about “the economy and who can lead us out of that.”
The couple said they were also particularly in favor of Question 5, which they said they thought would distribute power away from Baltimore city and Prince George’s County.
“In the past, if you carry that, you win,” Ken said.
The Maloits said they vote in every election and Tuesday was the busiest they had seen the polls since the first time former president Bill Clinton was elected in 1992.
Matt Norvell of Chesapeake Beach brought his 9-year-old son to see him vote at the Northeast Community Center.
“It’s one of our freedoms to vote. I wanted him to see the electoral process,” Norvell said.
Norvell said the biggest issues for him while voting were the economy and health care.
Jill and John Menassa of Chesapeake Beach said they were concerned with how some of the Chesapeake Beach Town Council candidates were conducting themselves while campaigning.
“We’ve lived here 26 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen these negative ads,” Jill said.
“That turned us off,” John said, adding that he also wanted to know where candidates received funding for their campaigns.
“Other than that, Chesapeake Beach is lovely, it’s great living here and I’m glad so many people are voting,” Jill said.
At the Calvert County Fairgrounds in Prince Frederick, a steady stream of cars carrying people eager to cast their vote entered the parking lot Tuesday morning.
Kaitlyn Campbell, who works in car Internet sales, said she believes it is important to vote because of the current “state of the economy.”
“My job kind of depends on how the election turns out, so for me, it’s important because it increases sales depending on which way it goes today,” Campbell said. “The big government decisions are the ones I’m focusing on right now.”
While Campbell said she voted yesterday because she did not have time to do so during early voting, other residents, like Arthur Hammett, voted because they like voting on Election Day. “I just like voting on the day,” he said simply.
“It’s very important” to vote, Hammett said, adding that he believes everyone should vote because “that’s the way we run the government.”
The availability of the polling places that make it easy to vote is what Wanda Gautier said drew her to vote yesterday. She said she has always voted on Election Day and has not participated in early voting.
Gautier said it is important for people to vote because everyone has a say in what the future holds for the country.
“If you don’t vote, you have no say in what goes on,” she said. “We have to make a decision to change things for the better.”