Despite the morning chill, Kuznear stood outside her polling place at Ellicott Mills Middle School, wearing an orange T-shirt for Republican congressional candidate Frank Mirabile and handing out campaign literature.
She said she had met both gubernatorial candidates, Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. "Ehrlich is very friendly," she said. "It's a whole vibe he has. He actually took the time to talk with us and ask what we care about. O'Malley was very impersonal and seemed to just care about how he appeared."
Brittany Meyer, a 19-year-old student at Howard Community College, didn't approach her first vote with quite as much zeal but did have a clear favorite in the gubernatorial race.
"I'm with Ehrlich," she said. "I share his views and my family is from Arbutus, where his family is from. I mainly just picked with the Republican Party."
She had never been to a polling place and said the experience left an impression. "All these people outside waiting to give you pamphlets," she said. "It definitely tells you oh, this is important. This does make a difference."
— Childs Walker
High turnout in at North Harford in Baltimore1:19 p.m.
Turnout has been high at the North Harford Recreation Center, where Republican chief judge Darryl Bonner said more than 260 had voted as of 11:30 a.m. Only 300 had voted on primary voting day, he said, attributing Tuesday’s high turnout to the gubernatorial race.
Clayton and Ellen Matthews, who moved to Maryland from Tennessee in 2007, said they each voted for O’Malley.
Clayton, a 67-year-old retiree, said he was pleased with O’Malley, “as much as you can be pleased with any politician.”
“It was really more against Ehrlich than anything else,” he said, adding that he wanted to vote “against insanity,” referring to the tea party movement.
Ellen, 65, added that she too did not like Ehrlich. “I think he's mean and vindictive and I just don't like the way he went campaigning,” she said.
— Yeganeh June Torbati
Write-in campaign in Baltimore County12:23 p.m.
Julian Jones recalled an encounter with an enthusiastic supporter for his write-in campaign as he greeted voters at Millford Mill Academy this morning. Unfortunately for Jones, who is running for County Council, the voter had written him in as a candidate for delegate.
"Jones, I wrote you in," the man told him,"because I can't stand that damn [Del. Emmett] Burns."
"That's the challenge of running a write-in campaign. I anticipate a certain percentage of that happening," Jones said, "but I'm encouraged that we'll make it up."
— Raven Hill; more on the Maryland Politics blog
Howard County voters opt for different choices12:09 p.m.
The two competitors for Howard County executive expressed their relative helplessness on Election Day.
"Election Day for me is the toughest day," said Ken Ulman, the Democratic incumbent county executive, who was greeting voters outside Clarksville Middle School. "We've done all the work. We feel like we've made the case, but it's up to the voters."
Trent Kittleman, the Republican candidate, spent the day riding from polling place to polling place in a white recreational vehicle festooned with Republican campaign posters. At Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, she too said Election Day is different. "It's a beautiful day and people are out," she said joking that she's been "feeding Democrats" as well as Republicans on her travels.
"We offered voters a choice," she said, and all that's left is to await their decision.
Most voters chose gubernatorial candidates from one of the major parties, but not Charles Lindner, 69, of Ellicott City, who voted at Ellicott Mills Middle School in Howard County at mid-morning. He said he is a registered Democrat. "I voted for the constitutional party," he said. "I know he's not going to win, but I wanted to send a message for change." Both O'Malley and Ehrlich represent entrenched special interest groups, albiet different ones, Lindner said, and he's tired of it.
At Columbia's Hammond High School, independent voter Patrick Frith, 47, an IT worker, said he voted for Democrats this time, frustrating the hopes of Republicans to capture independent voters.
"I really didn't see a reason to change," he said about O'Malley. The incumbent governor has run a more positive campaign, he felt. "I considered voting for Ehrlich," Frith said, but rejected the idea after seeing the candidate's comments in a League of women Voters voter's guide. "there was a negative feel," he said.
— Larry Carson
Longtime resident opposes slots at Arundel Mills11:45 a.m.
It was 7:20 a.m. at Anne Arundel Fire Station No. 21 near Arundel Mills Mall, and the voting machines weren't working yet, thanks to a security malfunction.