Long Lines, Squabble Over T-Shirt
Voters continue to stream into polling places around Greater Annapolis in the afternoon and evening.
With the evening voting rush in full swing, precincts around Annapolis experienced everything from long lines to police cars.
Turnout was steady all day long at Bay Ridge Christian Church, according to Barbara Maginley and Carla Sagerholm, the precinct's election judges.
"We've had a steady turnout all day," said Sagerholm. "We haven't had any problems with people finding the polling place either."
By 3 p.m., 578 people had cast ballots at the precinct with 257 registered Democrats, 233 registered Republicans and 88 votes cast by voters not affiliated with either party. With the evening rush still ahead, the precinct could see larger turnout than in 2008's presidential election. The precinct saw 1,191 votes cast in 2008.
While pundits have predicted a large Republican turnout nationally, perhaps the biggest catalyst for turning out Anne Arundel County voters is Ballot Question A.
"I don't want slots at the mall," said Amelia Mitchell of Annapolis. "I don't think funding on something that is essentially an illness is where we need to get our government funding."
Although recent polls have shown county residents almost evenly spilt on Question A, the only side visibly campaigning this afternoon in Greater Annapolis was the pro-slots group Jobs and Revenue for Anne Arundel County.
Voting was smooth and uneventful in most precincts around the area, according to election officials, with the exception of Annapolis Middle School where the police were called to resolve an incident between two voters.
According to Alderman Matthew Silverman (Ward 5) of the Annapolis City Council, who was present, a woman entered the building to vote while wearing a number of campaign bumper stickers as well as a T-shirt in support of Del. Ron George (R-30). The woman then got into a heated argument with another man at the precinct who said she shouldn't be allowed to vote while wearing campaign paraphernalia.
"I don't care what she's wearing, I just went in to try to diffuse the situation," said Silverman. "They were cursing at each other and I wanted to get the situation under control."
Silverman's effort seemed to add to the tension rather than defuse it, with the election judge questioning if he was even a member of the Annapolis City Council.
"He looked at me and said 'who the hell are you,' " said Silverman. "When he was on the phone with the police he told them he had someone here impersonating a councilman."
No arrests were made and both voters were allowed to cast their ballots. They did, however, have to wait in the line that stretched across the room.
By 3 p.m., 1,120 people had voted at Annapolis Middle School with an almost even spilt of 468 registered Democrats and 473 registered Republicans. There were 179 votes cast by voters who weren't affiliated with either party.