By 4 p.m. Tuesday nearly 78,000 Howard County voters had cast a ballot, according to the Howard County Board of Elections, and that was without numbers from several precincts that hadn’t yet reported their totals.
With four hours to go, about 42 percent of registered voters had cast a ballot in Tuesday’s General Election in Howard County.
Board of Elections Director Guy Mickley said Tuesday evening that seven precincts had not yet reported their turnout numbers, but as of the 4 p.m. count, 77,915 Howard County voters had been to the polls.
“That’s just in the polls today,” he said; about 16 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot during early voting last week, according to the State Board of Elections.
In the 2008 General Election, voter turnout in Howard County reached 83 percent, once absentee ballots were accounted for.
At the polls Tuesday, voters reported fast-moving lines, if there were lines at all, and pleasant encounters.
At Bryant Woods School in Columbia, Chief Judge William Fleck said the maximum wait had been about 30 minutes and at 5:30 p.m., it was just about 10 minutes.
By 10:30 a.m., Nicoline Smits had already been standing outside of Ellicott Mills Middle School handing out fliers in support of Question 6, which would legalize same-sex marriage, for four hours. And she planned to stay until 8 p.m., when the polls closed.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” she said, despite what some, including Gov. Martin O'Malley, see as a close race.
Karol Olsen said she voted at Patuxent Valley Middle School. On crutches, “but nothing stops me from voting,” she wrote on Patch.
“Poll workers were wonderfully helpful, and there were no lines – but a steady stream of people continuously coming in to do their civic duty,” she wrote. “Great to see.”
Follow a live blog in Maryland chronicling Election Day 2012 results across the state here.