Early voting turnout is up from four years ago, according to the Maryland Board of Elections, and there have been no reported problems at any of the precincts in Prince George’s County. Of the county’s 544,677 registered voters, 8.48 percent cast a ballot during early voting week for the general election, nearly matching the 8.31 percent early […]
Early voting turnout is up from four years ago, according to the Maryland Board of Elections, and there have been no reported problems at any of the precincts in Prince George’s County.
Of the county’s 544,677 registered voters, 8.48 percent cast a ballot during early voting week for the general election, nearly matching the 8.31 percent early voter turnout for the state, according to unofficial early voting turnout data.
The county’s early voter turnout this year is slightly higher than 2010, when 7.44 percent of the county’s eligible voters participated in early voting, according to the 2010 election summary report.
Early voting began Oct. 23 and ended Oct. 30. On the first day, 1.07 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot. Early voting turnout slowed down during the weekend and picked up again on Oct. 27. On the last day, Oct. 30, nearly 2 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot, the highest percent of the week.
According to Alisha Alexander, the county’s election director, the county is using the same equipment it did in 2010 and there have been no technology mishaps or failures in the county.
Some voters said they participated in early voting because of the convenience. County residents could vote at any of the eight early voting centers this year, while there were five centers in the 2010 midterm elections. State legislation passed in 2013 mandated an increase in the number of early voting centers, Alexander said.
“I’m retired, so for me it’s perfect,” said George Henderson on Thursday at the College Park Community Center. “It’s simpler and easier.”
“You can just swing by and just do it,” said Sheri Hoffman on Thursday at the Bowie Community Center.
The county’s ballot includes 10 county charter amendments, including Question “J”, which proposes increasing term lengths for county council members and county executive from two to three terms.
“Two terms is enough,” said Shuron Abdullah at the Bowie Community Center. “It’s enough time to see if what they stood for was correct. It also gives up the opportunity to change out of needed.”
Nathaniel Hamlett, who also voted at Bowie Community Center, said he thought extending term limits could result in solid change.
“In the first term, most folks are just feeling their feet. In the second term, they are really rushing towards a deadline,” Hamlett said. “In the third term, some one can really make solid change,” he said.
There are also six questions regarding bonds. Other amendments include appointing the county’s chief administrative officer as acting county executive if the county executive position becomes vacant, the inclusion of disability and sexual orientation in non-discrimination clauses for the county personnel system and reducing the number of designated newspapers.
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the county to urge early voting. Obama visited Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School on Oct. 19 and Clinton visited the University of Maryland campus in College Park on Oct. 30. Both urged early voting and endorsed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown for Maryland governor.
The general election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 4 and take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.