Maryland Votes 2010: Scenes and news from around region on Election Day

O'Malley campaign sees 'lighter than expected' participation, urges supporters to head to polls

November 03, 2010|By Baltimore Sun staff

U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and six of Maryland's incumbent members of the House of Representatives have won re-election, according to the Associated Press.

The winners include Democrats Elijah E. Cummings, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen, and the state's lone Republican congressman, Roscoe Bartlett.

Mikulski, a Democrat, won re-election to a fifth term, defeating Eric Wargotz, a Republican commissioner from Queen Anne's County.

Scott Calvert

Getting out the vote

Mae Beale referred to the younger campaign workers around her as "Energizer bunnies." But in fact, they said, she's the one who keeps going and going.

Beale, 70, spent Election Day at the epicenter of Democratic get-out-to-vote efforts in Howard County, greeting potential volunteers at the front desk, answering phones and distributing signs and literature to poll workers.

"We have everything covered," she said confidently.

Beale retired in January from her job with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Woodlawn. But she quickly threw herself into a de facto second career at the county's Democratic headquarters in Columbia. Every afternoon (and she meant every), Beale hauled herself to the office and answered calls until "everyone else was gone."

"I'm a firm believer that you have to give back," Beale said. "You have to be a part of what's going on in your community."

She said her affection for County Executive Ken Ulman drove her fervor this year.

Beale met Ulman's father years ago when they served on a county social services board together. And when she needed an elder-care attorney for her 88-year-old mother, she hired the future county executive.

"He's one of the best county executives we've had, because he was raised here," she said. She was unsure how she'll pass her days without a campaign to support.

"I won't know what to do with myself," she said. — Childs Walker

Voter told that someone cast early ballot in his name

7:29 p.m.

When James Moore went to vote at 5:30 p.m. today, the 32-year-old Pigtown resident says he got disturbing news from polling officials at George Washington Elementary School.

"They told me someone had voted early in my name -- and it wasn't me," he said.

Moore, a Johns Hopkins University project manager at the Johns Hopkins University, wanted polling officials to override that earlier vote, whoever may have cast it during the early voting period that ended Thursday. But he was told that wasn't possible. Instead, he was given a provisional ballot.

When Moore said that was unacceptable, he was given the phone number for Baltimore City's Board of Elections and eventually reached election director Armstead B.C. Jones Sr.

Jones "told me there was nothing they could do, but he assured me my vote would be counted," Moore said. That didn't satisfy him, either.

"I feel like I haven't voted," Moore said.

— Scott Calvert

Warming to anti-incumbent sentiment

6:50 p.m.

It's one of the unspoken truisms of politics that many voters, faced with long and barely comprehensible ballots filled with names few people have heard of, simply vote a straight party line and resort to little more than guesswork when picking through referendum questions. Time after time on Tuesday, voters emerging from polling stations in Baltimore County's west side airily admitted to not having paid much mind to those pesky queries about constitutional conventions and whatnot.

Nadine Johansen was different. Before entering Arbutus Middle School to vote, she asked anyone within sight to tell her whether, for instance, such a convention could address constitutional matters not specifically addressed in the questions posed in the ballot. Someone told her yes, and someone else -- using a tad more logic -- told her no, that only questions approved by voters would be up for debate.

Johansen, a 67-year-old former elections judge who works as an office manager for a non-profit organization, said she had tried to do homework about the ballot questions by looking on a Republican Central Committee website, but found nothing that would help her. Frustrated, she went to the polling place, figuring someone would have some answers, and became only more frustrated as time went on.

Finally, as she emerged from casting her ballot, Johansen gave vent to her feelings about the entire political process, including the positions and records of both major parties. "I'm a Republican, but that could change," she said. "I don't have a great deal more respect for the Republicans than I have for the Democrats. A lot of people are fed up with politics -- I'm fed up. I voted more against the Democrats than for the Republicans. It's very hard for voters to know what's true."

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