22 October 2010
Early voting in Maryland: Day one observations
Today was the first day of early voting for the 2010 general election, and continues through October 28. There are 46 early voting centers statewide; at least one in each county and multiple centers in larger counties. Here in Anne Arundel County, we have five early voting centers (the county has 197 precincts).
In the September primary election, 78,258 (or 29.63%) of 264,147 registered voters in Anne Arundel County turned out in both early voting and on election day. Of those, 8,595 were early voters (3.25% of registered voters, and nearly 11% of those who voted). Statewide, turnout was about 24% with 2.4% of that being early voters.
Tracy and I voted at about 7:15pm tonight (the early voting centers are open from 10am until 8pm), and as we were finished voting, the center had just recorded their 1,000th voter. According to one of the election judges, that was higher turnout than during the entire primary election early voting period. She told me that turnout was steady all day long. I suspect that turnout will not be as brisk throughout the rest of the early voting period, but today was a good sign that turnout will be up significantly throughout the county, and probably the state as well.