49.6 percent of county voters cast ballots

MD-election 2x voter turnout-110514
HURLOCK — The air at the polls for this year’s general election was electric.  Voters were keyed up like race horses at the starting line. When the polls opened at 7 a.m. in Hurlock 23 voters and one future voter were lined up waiting for the doors to open.

First at the fire station location for Hurlock residents were Barbara and Dennis Bishop with daughter Jayla; first at the Hurlock Elementary School for outlying Hurlock residents were James Allen Washington of Williamsburg and Mary Parker Brummell of Bobtown Road.

The pundits were right. They predicted a large turnout and the Hurlock Volunteer Fire Company poll showed they were right. According to Chief judge William Johnson, as of 4:30 p.m. 799 voters had cast ballots. He said they were “real busy this morning. A lot of folks were coming in from 7 until 10 or 11.  From 11 to 1 it slowed down but it’s been steady the whole time. Since 2:30 it started picking back up. It’s been a large turnout in my opinion based on what we’re seeing today.” Mr. Johnson said there were no problems and the judges have been “outstanding” and dedicated to doing their civic duty. “It’s a good day to be here.”

Of the 20,466 registered voters in Dorchester County, 10,062 cast ballots. The turnout was 49.16 percent.
The place to be was the County Courthouse. In previous years the lobby was packed after the polls closed at 8 p.m. By 9:30 or 10 the wide staircase was chock-full of interested voters sitting on the hard steps waiting to see if their favorite candidate had won or lost. Not so this year. The “crowd” never numbered more than about 30. Periodic printed “Election Summary Reports” were distributed as the precincts reported in.

The final unofficial results on Tuesday evening were reported by 10:30 p.m.  Those totals did not include absentee or provisional ballots which will be counted in three sessions: Nov. 5, 12, and 14. According to Board of Election personnel, 906 absentee ballots were issued; 601 were received with the requisite Nov. 4 postmark by the Elections office. The unofficial estimate of the number of provisional ballots usually received is 75-100. If additional absentee or provisional ballots reach the elections office with a Nov. 4 postmark before the final tally on Nov. 14 they will be counted. With the potential for absentee ballots to tip the scales in several close races, candidates and their supporters wait with fingers crossed.
Unofficial results from the Nov. 4 election include the winners’ percentages of the total:

Governor: (R) Larry Hogan/Boyd Rutherford, 70.02 percent,

Attorney General: (R) Jeffrey Pritzker, 56.25 percent

Comptroller: (D, incumbent) Peter Franchot, 59.38 percent

US Congress, District 1: (R, incumbent) Andy Harris, 63.87 percent

State Senator: (R) Addie Eckardt, 62.67 percent

House of Delegates, 37A: (D) Sheree Sample-Hughes (unopposed), 98.65 percent

House of Delegates, 37B: (R) Johnny Mautz, 39.24 percent (Talbot)

House of Delegates, 37B: (R) Chris Adams, 24.62 percent (Wicomico)

County Council, #1: (R) Don Satterfield, 51.09 percent

County Council, #2: (D, incumbent) William Nichols (unopposed), 99.59 percent

County Council, #3: (D, incumbent) Ricky Travers (unopposed), 98.99 percent

County Council, #4: (R, incumbent) Rick Price, 52.53 percent

County Council, #5: (R, incumbent) Tom Bradshaw, 75.47 percent

Sheriff: (D, incumbent) James Phillips, 56.56 percent

Unopposed candidates who will remain in office include:

• Kevin Arthur and Andrea Leahy, Judges at Large, Special Appeals

• William Jones, State’s Attorney

• Amy Craig, Circuit Court Clerk

• Doris Lewis, Register of Wills

• George Ames, Judge Orphans’ Court 1

• Carolyn Todd, Judge Orphans’ Court 2

• Leotha Hull, Board of Education #2

• Glen Payne, Board of Education #4

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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