I’ve been voting at the same location, since I first moved to Annapolis in 1984–Bates Middle School next to Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. There is usually never a line, I just walk right in, give my name, get my voter’s card and walk over to one of the machines. But this morning I stood in line for 45 minutes.
The earliest voters arrived at 6:15 a.m. In other places around the county some of the wait times were similar, while at other places such as Herald Harbor at 8:00 a.m. there was no wait time at all. Predictions are that we will have an 80 percent turn-out today. That’s an unprecedented amount of voters and certainly swayed my opinion regarding the question of allowing early voting in the State of Maryland. Initially I had mixed feelings about this constitutional amendment, concerned that last minute political developments might impact the voting outcome. However, seeing long voting lines make me concerned that citizens may not choose to vote if they have to wait too long in line, particularly if they think they know the outcome. (That is the danger of all the polling and all the political pundits making their predications.) Therefore I did vote for the amendment to enable early voting.
And as for long lines, well our graphic designer who lives in Prince Georges County reported that the line at her voting precinct was a mile long! Wow, the right to vote is a privilege we should all exercise. I think we need more voting machines and maybe more polling places.