Primary Election Day 2018: Live coverage from Maryland polls

Primary Election Day 2018: Live coverage from Maryland polls

See coverage from The Baltimore Sun Media Group from polling places, campaigns and results from the 2018 Maryland Primary election.

    As many as 80,000 voters will have to cast provisional ballots in Tuesday’s primary election because of a computer glitch — four times as many as state officials initially announced.

    The computer glitch affected some voters across the state who tried to change their registration address or party affiliation through the MVA since April 2017.

    When those voters show up at the polls Tuesday, the correct information will not be in the poll books and they will have to vote on a provisional ballot. Those ballots will be counted later, on July 5. >>READ MORE.

    Are you forced to cast a provisional ballot? Tell us about it »

    Trouble at the polls

    Voters at the Baltimore IT Academy in North Baltimore were initially unable to cast their ballots Tuesday morning because machines hadn’t been set up, said Armstead Jones, the city's board of elections director.

    The polls at the academy opened just before 9 a.m.

    Machines at the school were not set up, and Jones said voters might be delayed.

    “We have someone on their way out there. We’re trying to locate them,” Jones said around 7:30 a.m.

    Voters might want to come later to vote, he said, but he did not have a timetable for when the machines would be working.

    He said three precincts vote at that location, but he wasn’t sure if all three are affected.

    Additional information was not immediately available.
    — Jessica Anderson, Baltimore Sun

    Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, far right, voted early Tuesday morning with his daughter Kristen at Hammond High School. Republican Chief Election Judge Rick Deckert spoke with Rutherford and his daughter outside of the polls.
    Hammond High School, one of the 90 polling places in Howard County, had a slow turnout of voters in the early hours of primary voting Tuesday.
    Republican Election Judge Rick Deckert said there were no technical glitches. Democrat Election Judge Pauline Box said “everything is running smoothly.”
    There is no estimate of how many voters will cast a ballot to the high school, Box said. There were no provisional ballots as of 8:15 a.m.
    Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford voted early Tuesday morning at Hammond High School with his daughter Kristen, a 2012 graduate from the high school.
    “This is my polling place. ... I’ve voted here for every election for the past 22 years,” Rutherford said.
    Rutherford is seeking re-election with incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan. They are unopposed in the Republican primary, but is facing a field of Democratic hopefuls.
    Dana Mazzarella, 28, of Columbia, mainly came out to vote Tuesday for the governor’s race.
    A Democrat, Mazzarella voted for candidate Krish Vignarajah at Hammond High School on Tuesday.
    “I think education was a big one [issue] … a lot of problems stem from a lack of funding for education,” said Mazzarella, who works in finance and accounting. “I voted for Krish because her platform focused on education."
    Come November, Mazzarella will compare the winner of the Democratic gubernatorial primary to Hogan before making a decision on who to vote for in the general election.
    Columbia resident Monica Ajayi, 53, voted for Ben Jealous for the next state governor on Tuesday morning at Hammond High School. She plans to vote for Jealous if he wins Tuesday’s primary.
    “I know he is very passionate about Maryland and I know he has also worked across the country with various leaders, so he brings that to the table,” said Ajayi, a Democrat who works in human resources.
    Ajayi came out to vote because “there are more needs to be looked at towards transportation,” including having better transportation in Baltimore for people to get to and from work and in the suburbs, to have more feasible access to both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Ajayi added.
    — Jess Nocera, Baltimore Sun Media Group
    Voting Location Changed for Essex Co-Op Due to Power Failure…
    Fair, but the issue is uncertainty. We know there’s potential for tens of thousands more provisionals than normal, but we won’t know until Friday how many need to be counted.…
    Melanie Harris, 32, resident of Arbutus and candidate for House of Delegates district 12.
    Melanie Harris, a resident of Arbutus and candidate for the House of Delegates district 12, said she was the second person to vote at the Arbutus VFD polling location his morning.

    Harris, 32, said she knows “every candidate” on her ballot in the Republican primary, which she said is exciting.

    Harris, who said she is not a single-party voter, expressed her disappointment with the Baltimore County executive primary.

    “On both sides, it’s been mostly negative,” Harris said, calling the contest “cutthroat” and “off putting to voters.”
    Karen Thomas, 48, of Arbutus, voted at the Arbutus VFD polling location. She is a historian at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
    Karen Thomas, 48, said she was a little disappointed in her voting time — even though she had zero wait at the Arbutus VFD polling location.

    “This should be a prime voting time,” she said, when people are on the way to work. “People should have turned out."

    Thomas is supporting Krish Vignarajah in the gubernatorial primary.

    Thomas said she likes that Vignarajah had the courage to breast feed in a campaign ad, and that she wants to see more women running for office. She also said Vignarajah was “very competent,” citing the candidate’s previous time in government.

    “She is sending a very positive message,” Thomas said.
    — Cody Boteler, Baltimore Sun Media Group

    Keeping Harford County rural a concern for residents

    There were no lines at the Jarettsville Library for hours after polls opened Tuesday.
    Among the slow trickle of voters who passed through the Jarrettsville Library on Tuesday morning were local residents who turned out to support candidates who would keep Harford County rural.

    The library was one of 61 polling places in Harford County, where a race for state delegates was at the top of voters’ minds.

    Sue Becraft, a Republican from Street, was wearing an American flag pin when she came to the library to vote Tuesday morning. The 62-year-old said she was comfortable with the county’s local leadership, but more concerned about representation in Annapolis.

    District 7 voters could cast ballots for up to three of the 13 Republicans running for seats in the House of Delegates. Becraft said she voted for Kathy Szeliga, Lauren Arikan and David Seman.

    Kurt Frevel, a 34-year-old from Jarrettsville, was also interested in the state delegates’ race.

    “Because there’s an open spot and there seems like there’s a lot of people going for that, I want to make sure that my vote represents the way that I want our community to be represented,” said Frevel, a Republican.

    Frevel said he moved to Jarrettsville from Perry Hall eight years ago because it was less developed, and he wants to see officials in office that would preserve the area’s farmland. He declined to say who he voted for.

    “It’s very important, especially for Jarresttsville, because our farms and our communities are at risk right now, and development is a big thing,” he said. “People who live in Jarrettsville — I would say the majority and everyone I talk to — they all want everything to stay rural.”

    Other voters like Donna Horoschak, a Republican from Jarrettsville, echoed his sentiment.

    “I’m big on keeping Harford County rural,” Horoschak, 54, said. “I grew up on a dairy farm, so I want to keep the farms here in Harford County. So I made sure my votes go to the people that are protecting the farmlands.”
    Amber Shrodes and her daughter Maddie Shrodes waved to voters at Jarrettsville Library on Tuesday morning. They were supporting their husband/father, Chad Shrodes, a Harford County Council candidate.
    David Seman, a candidate for state delegate, was also present. "It's my hometown," Seman said of Jarrettsville. He started his morning at the library and planned to stop at other polling places throughout the day.
    — Sarah Meehan, Baltimore Sun
    Russell Royahn is one of the up to 80,000 voters who had to vote with a provisional ballot today because of a computer glitch. He said he tried to switch his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican three months ago, but was handed a voter update form today.
    So @AntonioHayes40 having quick update for the press and community at Friendship, formerly Calverton Elem Middle at……
    For those following the Baltimore County executive primaries, there were 3,585 absentee ballots sent to Democrats & 1,279 absentee ballots sent to Republicans. And we will have an unknown number of provisional ballots cast today — likely more than in past years. 🗳

    'It’s important to share your voice'

    Harford County voter Elizabeth Pennington, 39, of Kingsville, brought her 5-year-old son, Joshua, and 2-year-old daughter, also named Elizabeth, to the polls at Fallston Middle School on Tuesday morning.

    “No matter what happens, I think it’s important to share your voice and show your children that it’s important to vote

    The registered Democrat, who teaches social studies at the private Notre Dame Preparatory School in Baltimore County, said it was difficult to choose among the many Democratic candidates for governor. She declined to say who she voted for in that race.

    “I think there’s a lot of good candidates, and I think that they have a lot of good things to say, they have diverse backgrounds. ... I just found it to be hard to choose, frankly,” she said.

    Fifty-two voters had cast ballots at Fallston Middle as of 9 a.m., including 22 Democrats and 30 Republicans, according to vote totals posted in the polling place.
    — David Anderson, Baltimore Sun Media Group
    First absentee canvass is Thursday.
    Provisional canvass is July 5.
    Second absentee canvass is July 6.
    Local certification of the election is July 6.
    State certification of election results is July 9.…

    I’m now at Middle River Volunteer Fire & Rescue, another one of Baltimore County’s polling places.

    West Baltimore resident Damon Lann, 46, said he was voting for Marilyn Mosby for the Baltimore State’s Attorney race at Matthew Henson Elementary School.
    There was a slow trickle of people entering the Matthew Henson Elementary School in West Baltimore on Tuesday morning. Teresa West stood in front of the school wearing a “West” shirt and asking people to vote for her son, the Rev. Westley West, a candidate for state delegate representing the 40th district. She said she had seen just about 10 people between 8 and 9 a.m., a fraction of the numbers she saw at that location around the same time in 2016.

    “I think everybody voted early,” she said.

    West Baltimore resident Claudette Williams, 63, said she voted for Rushern Baker for governor as she exited the school.

    “He’s a new face,” she said. “He’s got some new ideas.”
    For State’s Attorney in Baltimore City, Williams went for Marilyn Mosby. “I want to give her a chance. We heard a lot of negative criticisms, but I’m still going to give her a chance.”

    West Baltimore resident Damon Lann, 46, said he was also voting for Mosby. “She’s done an excellent job,” he said. “I don’t think she’s gotten enough credit for what she’s done and what she has to deal with.”

    Issues that brought Lann, a corrections officer, to vote in the primaries included the murder rate in the city, schools and housing. “I like Ben Jealous for governor,” he said. “I think he can get not just the state, but Baltimore City, back in line.”
    Debra Keller-Greene, 63, of West Baltimore, voted Tuesday morning at Matthew Henson Elementary School.
    Debra Keller-Greene, 63, of West Baltimore, said she came to vote because “it’s important we exercise our voice in who represents us.”
    "It is important elected officials understand they work for us,” the independent consultant said.
    — Catherine Rentz, Baltimore Sun

    Friendship School at 1100 Whitmore Ave. has been closed as a polling place, and voters are being redirected to an elementary school around the corner

    Del. Antonio Hayes is holding a press conference at the closed polling place. He said the school has been closed since pipes burst in December
    Voters wait outside Baltimore IT Academy as workers set up the polling place two hours late. (Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun)

    Maryland voters encounter range of delays, problems at polls in primary election

    If the last-minute revelation that as many as 80,000 will have to vote provisionally in Tuesday’s primary election weren’t enough, the polls opened today with scattered reports of issues at several precincts.

    But causing particular outrage and suspicion was an email officials sent to thousands who had changed their address or party affiliation at the Motor Vehicle Administration, saying they would have to vote by provisional ballot — which would not be counted until July 5.

    Elsewhere, there were reports of delays and problems with ballots. A voter at Medfield Heights Elementary School in North Baltimore said the ballot scanner there wasn’t working.

    Meanwhile, voters at the Baltimore IT Academy, also in North Baltimore, were not able to cast their ballots early Tuesday morning because machines hadn’t been set up, said Armstead Jones, the city's board of elections director.

    Del. Antonio Hayes, a Democrat running for the state Senate in District 40, tweeted shortly before 8:30 a.m. that the Friendship Preparatory Academy polling place in West Baltimore was closed and voters should go to nearby James Mosher Elementary School instead.

    There was also at least one last-minute switch in polling places in Baltimore County: elections officials there said the Essex Co-Op at 1100 Franklin Ave. was without power, and voters should instead go to the gym at Eastern Technical High School, at 1100 Mace Ave. >>READ MORE


    Candidate signs outside of Wilde Lake High School, one of the 90 polling places in Howard County.
    Columbia resident, Lois Savar-Rock, 70, has never missed an election.
    “It’s our right [to vote] and people fought for this right,” said Savar-Rock, who’s retired.  “I think anyone who doesn’t vote has no right to complain.”
    Savar-Rock, a Democrat, came out for both the Howard County Board of Education and governor's race at Wilde Lake High School on Tuesday.
    “Having a [board of education] candidate with an educational background is important to me,” she said. “It’s important to right the wrongs that were done by the previous superintendent [Renee Foose].”
    Savar-Rock voted for Democratic candidate Rich Madaleno, and said it is “very unlikely” she would vote for Republican incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan in the primary.
    Forty-nine voters took to the polls at Wilde Lake High School as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to vote totals. Five of the 49 votes were provisional.
    Rose Johnson, 74, of Columbia, is very concerned with the Howard County Board of Education and its development. Johnson has been voting in Columbia since 1988 and still has her original voting card. Johnson, a Democrat and retired librarian, also voted at Wilde Lake High School on Tuesday.
    — Jess Nocera, Baltimore Sun Media Group
    Broken machines, provisional ballots, a last-minute polling place switch: Maryland voters have encountered a range……
    Michael McFerren, voted at Prospect Mill Elementary in Bel Air on Tuesday morning.
    Michael McFerren, of Bel Air, said he is interested in the race for Harford County county executive, “because they control, or attempt to control, the purse strings."

    “I pay a lot of taxes in Harford County, so I figure I want to have a say in how it’s being spent,” McFerren, the owner of Chick-Fil-A restaurants in Aberdeen and Abingdon, said. "I don’t have a say down to the dollar, but I can agree or disagree on different philosophies.”

    The Republican, who has a decal on the back of his car that says “My big gun family,” was also interested in the state’s attorney’s race, where four people are seeking to succeed Joseph Cassilly, who is retiring after 36 years as state’s attorney.

    “They’re the ones that send the trend or precedence when it comes to prosecutorial matters,” McFerren said. “I’m a firm believer in rule of law and I want that upheld and the person I voted for I think will do that.”

    McFerren declined to say who he voted for in the state’s attorney’s race.
    Democrat Jon Cupp, of Bel Air, said it didn’t matter that most of the Harford races are in the Republican primary.

    “It doesn’t make any difference. You’re supposed to vote, you should vote,” the 70-year-old said at the Prospect Mill precinct mid-morning. “It’s our right. If people just take it for granted, that it’s not going to make a difference, why bother. It’s important for all of us to vote, as has been proven a couple different times in different races.”

    While he’s a regular voter, the race for governor drew him to Tuesday’s primary. He had planned to vote for Kevin Kamenetz, but after his death Cupp had to do his homework to find the right candidate.

    “I’m not crazy about anybody,” said Cupp, who voted for Ralph Jaffe.

    In the General Election, however, Cupp said he’ll vote for Republican incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan, who’s surprised Cupp.

    “He’s not as extreme as I expected,” he said. “He’s great as far as I’m concerned.”
    Voters cast their ballots at Prospect Mill Elementary School in Bel Air on Tuesday morning, including a 17-year-old who was voting for the first time.
    — Erika Butler, Baltimore Sun Media Group
    At 10:30 a.m., Timonium Elementary School had seen 126 voters, including two who cast provisional ballots due to the Motor Vehicle Administration snafu.
    “I’ve never seen it this slow,” said election judge Ken Westerfelt.
    Jeanne Wilson, of Timonium, said she came to the polls today because “in this atmosphere, we have to. This democracy is in such big trouble — we’ve got to do something.”
    Wilson, 66, said her most important vote was for Jim Brochin for County Executive because of his “integrity.”
    “I’m just disappointed it’s so light,” Wilson said of the turnout, saying she didn’t have to wait at all. “Just a few people in front of me would have been satisfying.”
    Julio Lovo, 55, of Timonium, said he came to the U.S. from El Salvador illegally in 1983. Today, he is an American citizen and owns a landscaping company.
    Lovo is worried that the country is divided by “racism and hate,” saying immigrants who come to the U.S. with their families are just “trying to look for a better life.”
    Lovo was proud to vote in the Democratic primary today.
    “This is the best county in the whole world,” he said.
    — Libby Solomon, Baltimore Sun Media Group

    Vignarajah's campaign resonates with Montgomery County mom

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Krish Vignarajah has placed her gender and motherhood at the center of her campaign. Maryland has never had a female governor.

    It’s an appeal that resonated with Montgomery County voter Addie Solomon, a middle school teacher who said she voted for Vignarajah in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

    “She’s a female and a new mom and she had the educational background I look for,” said Solomon, 29, who arrived at the Silver Spring polling place wearing a “Nevertheless She Persisted” T-shirt and holding Hayes, her 2 ½-month-old son.

    Solomon said she had to do her homework in Montgomery County because of the crowded ballot – including 33 Democrats competing for four at-large seats on the County Council.

    It can be overwhelming, but Solomon said she studied the recommendations of teachers’ unions and the Washington Post.
    — Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun

    There’s a bubble blowing fire truck supporting Vicki Almond for County Executive here at Hillcrest Elementary in Baltimore County

    Brooklyn Park Middle School has two precincts. As of noon, 174 voters voted between the two precincts. A total of just five provisional ballots. “It’s been pretty slow,” said chief judge Kimberly Stewart.

    This is a fascinating dynamic: some voters pick a left-of-center progressive Democrat in the primary but are leaning toward a Republican in the fall. The election prospects of Gov. @LarryHogan seem tied more to personality than politics.…
    Just met an @AlecJRoss voter who was won over by his plan to legalize marijuana. “If it’s a gateway to anything, it’s a gateway to pizza,” Ross said during a recent debate.
    Just spoke to a Prince George's voter for Ben Jealous. Said he wasn't a fan of Rushern Baker, the county executive……
    Maryland voters encounter range of delays, problems at polls in primary election…
    Success academy in Baltimore is handing out Republican ballots for ALL provisional ballots. @lukebroadwater…

    Brooklyn Park Middle School has two precincts. As of noon, 174 voters voted between the two precincts. A total of just eight provisional ballots. “It’s been pretty slow,” said chief judge Kimberly Stewart. (This replaces earlier incorrect tweet that I deleted)

    Deborah Dailey of Glen Burnie brought her 4-year-old granddaughter, Aleiyah Jacobs, to the polls at Brooklyn Park MS. Dailey said she had a difficult time choosing a candidate in the Dem gubernatorial primary. “I did manage to pick,” she said, but prefers to keep vote secret.

    Our reporters are providing live updates from the Maryland polls. Follow along here:

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