County residents made their way to the polls Tuesday, but according to the Prince George’s County Board of Elections voter turnout continues to be low. Despite all the campaign ads, rallies and campaigning, Daneen Banks, a spokesperson for the county’s board of election, said as 3 p.m. approximately 88,000 people had voted—a voter turnout of […]
County residents made their way to the polls Tuesday, but according to the Prince George’s County Board of Elections voter turnout continues to be low.
Despite all the campaign ads, rallies and campaigning, Daneen Banks, a spokesperson for the county’s board of election, said as 3 p.m. approximately 88,000 people had voted—a voter turnout of only just more than 16 percent.
Banks said the unofficial numbers, at this point, seem to be on pace to match up with the county’s projections, but it is too early in the day to know for sure.
“At this point I believe (the numbers are on pace),” Banks said. “Our director estimated somewhere between 40 and 45 percent turnout. But we’ve still got four hours to go, so we’ll see what happens.”
Banks said the numbers do not include the 8.5 percent early voter turnout within the county.
Banks also said one of the precincts have reported any issues to the board or experienced any technical difficulties.
Sue Livera, an election judge at Reid Temple in Glenn Dale, said election day has not been too tough, although some of the voting machines froze but they did not have to shut any of the machines down.
“So far, it’s been smooth,” Livera said. “There are the technical problems that the machine is going to bring but we’ve had a very good support team that has come in and fixed things on the spot. We’ve been good that way and we haven’t been so busy that we haven’t been able to keep up with that.”
As of 11 a.m., Livera said, 440 people had voted at her precinct.
“So far it’s been a little slow but we are thinking it’s going to pick up when folks get off from work,” said Aretha Robinson, chief judge at Ritchie Coliseum in the University of Maryland said. “It’s hard to tell from time to time but we just wait and see what happens.”
Eula Scott, an election judge at the Glenn Dale Community Center, said low voter turnout is what she expected. In the morning, about 200 people voted at the precinct, Scott said.
Cheryl Quick, another judge at the Glenn Dale Community Center, said the election process has been quick and she has not noticed any issues with the vote counting machines in the community center.
“It’s what we expected. A little more than last time,” Quick said. “It’s necessary to vote because it’s the process. I’m glad to see a mixture of ages come out and vote.”
Andre Burwell, a Lanham resident, said he had an easy time with the voting process because he came in knowing who and what to vote for. In this year’s general election voters are determining who will be the next governor of Maryland, as well as voting for the County Council, county executive, General Assembly seats and the Board of Education. In addition, several questions are appearing on this year’s ballot, including a controversial one to increase term limits for county officials from two terms to three terms.
“It was easy to understand since they sent out the sneak peak of the things we need to vote on,” Burwell said. “That made it simple.”
Burwell said voting is essential because the people are going to elect who gets to work with the President of the United States.
“Well I mean the primaries you’re voting for presidential mid-terms you’re voting for people that are going to be either working with the president or working against the president,” Burwell said. “So knowing that you have that balance and knowing that you have that group that kind of works together as opposed to how things have been going up to this point fighting each other all the time it’s always important.”
Lance Hogan, the corporate executive officer of Massive entertainment, said it is a civic duty of citizens to vote and said it is an easy process.
“I can’t think of anything (to make it easier),” Hogan said. “It is a fairly easy process.”
Hogan said he voted Democrat across the board on his ballot.
Anthony McClough, a voter at Baden Elementary School, said participating in the election is important because people died to give citizens a right to vote and that right should be exercised. Voting is essential, McClough said, to get things done around the country.
“It is important because you want things to be better,” McClough said. “A lot of people talk about taxes. A lot of people talk about better school. All this stuff is important so you come out and vote to get things done. People complain, but they don’t come out and vote. You’re complaining but you are not doing something more.”
Myesha Fair, chief polling judge at Paint Branch elementary school, said she does not know who will win the governor’s race, which pits current Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown against Republican Larry Hogan, but every vote counts.
“I think Anthony Brown has a good chance of winning. I think it’s going to go Anthony Brown because of the slump that Democrats have been in with the loss of ground with the middle class,” Byron Patterson, a voter and a Brown supporter. “They are going to probably bump up somebody who can get a little bit more of rally behind them and that would be Anthony Brown. And he got endorsed by (former U.S. President Bill) Clinton.”
Prince George’s Sentinel reporters DaShawn Fleming, Alexis A. Goring and Ana Mulero contributed to this report.