"I knew her father really well," said the former Medfield resident, now of Roland Springs, referring to Rawlings-Blake's late father, former State Del. Howard "Pete" Rawlings.

But despite such efforts, voter turnout was running at around 12 percent late in the day, only about half of the 24 percent turnout for the 2007 mayoral primary, according to the Baltimore City Board of Elections.

Turnout was below elections judges' expectations at several polling places in north Baltimore, partly due to the advent of early voting and to the lack of a presidential primary, as well as to the predominantly Democratic makeup of the city, they said.

"It's awfully light, especially for a primary," said Bob Koch, Republican chief judge at theWaverly Library, the polling precinct for Oakenshawe and Abell.


"Like" explorebaltimorecounty's Facebook page

His Democratic counterpart, Michael Howard recalled that 100 people were waiting in line when the polls opened in 2004's primaries.

"To me this is the slowest, at least since 2004," said Howard, of nearby Abell.

At First English Lutheran Church inGuilford, 119 people had cast their ballots as of 10:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, out of 1,200 voters registered for the precinct.

"L-O-W," said chief Republican judge Bill Barnes, of Tuscany-Canterbury. "Usually, we have about one third."

Barnes said he was not expecting a surge of voters in the evening hours from people voting on their way home from work

"And that's 'surge' in quotes," Barnes said.

One who did vote was Mike Godack, 57, of Tuscany-Canterbury.

"My nephew is fighting in Afghanistan so we can vote," Godack said, calling it "a civic duty."

"To me, if you don't vote, you have no reason to complain. Too many people have died for this right," he said.

Emily Snodgrass, 27, couldn't vote because she is not a registered Democrat or Republican.

"The unaffiliated choice I made was to feel that I truly have an ultimate choice, which is now limited," she said, referring to the Maryland requirement that voters must be affiliated with either the Democratic or Republic party to vote in primary elections.

She can vote, however, in the general election in November.

"I understand why they have that provision, but I'm confident the outcomes (of the primary) will allow me to make my voice heard" in the general election, she said. "There were two candidates I wanted to vote for, so I hope they get enough votes so I can support them next time."

At the Hampden firehouse on Roland Avenue, 104 voters came through as of 1 p.m., out of 891 registered voters in the precinct.

"We're hoping for an influx," said Democratic chief elections judge Candace Little. "There are a lot more seniors in this area," she said, which is historically a demographic that votes in large numbers.

But, she added, the fire station, Engine No. 21, is located right next to another precinct that was sending voters to Medfield Heights Elementary School, a mile away. Little added that her particular precinct usually has a turnout of 30 percent.

In the stifling heat of the Academy for College and Career Exploration's gymnasium in Hampden, election workers also waited for a surge, but weren't holding their breath, with only 114 voters by 1:30 p.m.

"I think there will be more, but not stacks of people," said Chief Republican judge Mary Erickson.