Cambridge elections: Record is set with almost 3,000 votes cast

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Albert Jones, sporting the colors of Pi Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, cast his vote Saturday in the Cambridge municipal elections.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley and Bradshaw head to runoff; Incumbent Cannon falls to Cephas

CAMBRIDGE — Preliminary results from Saturday’s city election were released at 11:53 p.m., as a total of 2,939 citizens voted in the mayoral race and 2,787 on commissioners. “This more than triples the turnout from the 2016 election,” a statement from the city said shortly before midnight. “Way to go, Cambridge!”

In the mayoral race, incumbent Victoria Jackson-Stanley (1,193) brought in 40.59 percent of the votes cast, followed by Andrew Bradshaw (818), LaShon Banks-Foster (565), and Robert S. Larimer (363).
Chad Malkus ran unopposed for the Ward 5 seat, winning his post with 420 votes. Incumbent Robert Hanson did not run for re-election.
In Ward 4, incumbent Dave Cannon (279) fell to Sputty Cephas (292). Mr. Cephas’ total represented 51.14 percent of the votes cast in this race.
In Ward 1, Brian Roche (509) earned a convincing victory with 61.55 percent of the votes cast in this contest. Sharon B. Smith (222) and Tom Bradley (96) followed. Incumbent Steve Rideout did not run for re-election.
“It appears the Mayoral, Ward Two, and Ward Third races will go into run-offs on Dec. 1,” a statement from the City of Cambridge said. “Every vote truly matters!”

In Ward 2, results were: incumbent Donald Sydnor (195), Lajan Natasha Cephas (149), Paul F. Baiers Jr. (84), and Tyzann Meekins (70).
In Ward 3, results were: Gary T. Gordy (185), Jameson Harrington (144), and Duane Farrow (142). Incumbent Commissioner LaShon Banks-Foster did not run for re-election, choosing to seek the mayor’s office.
The results will be certified Monday morning at 10 a.m. City officials will then post those certified numbers.
As voting proceeded on Saturday afternoon, Cambridge City Manager Patrick Comiskey, said turnout had been extraordinary throughout the election process. Mail-in votes alone exceeded 2,000, more than doubling the previous election’s total of 915 votes.

The total before today’s in-person voting began was already a record for Cambridge elections. At one point the morning, a line stretched for 30-40 feet as citizens had their temperatures checked and were offered hand sanitizer before entering Chesapeake College to perform their civic duty.
Candidates and their supporters were nearby, but no closer to the polling place than allowed by law, holding signs and waving at voters.
There was another record set this year.
“We had 17 people qualify” as candidates, Mr. Comiskey said. He noted that two experienced election judges said that was the highest number of candidates they could remember.

The plan to supply mail-in ballots began before the COVID-19 pandemic made the method more popular across the nation. Discussions began after city officials learned that the municipal election would not be held on Nov. 3.
Then after the virus struck, funds from the federal government and the county health department were made available as a way to reduce the risk of spreading the illness.
Early on Saturday, mail-in ballots were securely moved by the Cambridge Maryland Police Department, Head Election Judge Jerry Burroughs, and the Election Supervisor from the post office to the voting center at Chesapeake College downtown.

“The ballots are secure in their lock boxes awaiting canvassing starting at 7 p.m. when the voting center closes,” information on a social media post by the city said. The same post, found at City of Cambridge on Facebook, explains the process used to receive, secure and transport the lock boxes.
Polls closed at Saturday at 7 p.m.

The first word on election results came at 11:47 p.m., when candidate LaShon Foster posted, “Thank you Facebook family, friends and community that supported me through my endeavor for my bid for Mayor. I was not successful and did not gain enough votes to be in the run off. I will continue my fight for a better Cambridge, for our youth, adults and elderly. God bless and be safe.”