Long lines

Election Day in Laurel began with crowded parking lots and long lines when polls opened at 7 a.m.

At Laurel Woods Elementary, things were a "little tense" in the first hour after election officials asked voters to move to a different line, according to one voter.

Voters at Laurel Elementary were waiting about a hour in line, after an early-morning rush that had a line out the door. And nearly all polling locations in Laurel continued to have lines of voters after 5 hours of being open.

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Close to noon, some Prince George's County elected officials were in Howard County outside the polls at Murray Hill Middle School in North Laurel. Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker III joined Howard County Executive Ken Ulman in greeting voters and advocating for Question 7.

"Question 7 is critical for Prince George's County and the state of Maryland," Baker said. "If we want to keep revenue in Maryland, we have to pass Question 7."

Baker said he was pleased to be advocating with Ulman, who he said understands what expanded gambling means for Maryland.

"Your county executive would not support this unless he though tit was important," Baker told voters.

Ulman said he was pleased to see such a strong turnout at the polls today.

"This morning there were long lines, so it's good to see people excited to vote," Ulman said. "Nobody is missing this election."

At the Phelps Center on Montgomery Street, Chief Election Judge Gabby Araiza said the line has been out the door and around the corner all morning.

"We came here at 5:30 this morning and there were already 10 people in a line outside," Araiza said.

Araiza said crowds this large are expected for presidential elections.

Laurel resident Karen Deychak, 57, said the two difficult ballot questions were question 6 and 7.

"I was torn on gay marriage because of my religious beliefs," Deychak said.

Deychak said expanded gambling also posed a moral dilemma for her.

"My first thought was, I don't support gambling," Deychak said. "But if it can keep money in the state instead of going out of the state, that's a good thing in this economy."