Lines were growing late Tuesday morning at Towson's polling places, but election officials reported little confusion and even less problems as the pre-lunch rush began on Election Day in Baltimore County.
"It hasn't let up since we opened the doors," Francis MacDougall, an election judge at Dumbarton Middle School, said.
MacDougall was supervising voting near the Dumbarton gym, which was the temporary polling place for Stoneleigh residents while Stoneleigh Elementary is under construction.
Both MacDougall and Ed Matricardi, his contemporary at Towson High School — the other temporary voting location for Stoneleigh residents — reported about that just a handful of people tried to vote at the wrong location, but no more than in previous years.
Matricardi said wait times reached an hour at the high school earlier this morning, though it was down to 15 minutes around 11 a.m.
Chief Judge Pat Jakelski, who was overseeing polling for voters who normally vote at Towson High, reported no problems with voting machines, but said turnout was heavier than usual.
Brenda Bechdel, 48, commiserated with neighbors who were waiting in the growing late-morning line, but said she waited just 15 to 20 minutes to cast her ballot.
"We've never seen lines like this," she said. "And it's not that they're not being efficient. I just think more people care this year."
Colin Stine, 57 of Idlewylde, let out a sigh of relief after casting his ballot at Dumbarton.
Despite the lines, he said he votes every election and had strong feelings about several of the candidates.
"This is a huge turnout," he said. "The line was this long at 7 o'clock, and it's still going."
Voters leaving Ridge Ruxton School around 12:30 said they waited around 40 minutes, which Chief Judge Bonita Pinkney said were the locations longest waits of the day.
"Turnout has been great," Pinkney said. "We're getting over 100 voters per hour."
Voters in Baltimore County and across the state are making their choice for the next president of the United States, but also representatives in Congress, a U.S. Senator and more than a handful of ballot questions that have generated months of controversy and debate.
The Baltimore Sun reported early that some 100 people waited in line at Rodgers Forge Elementary School early on Tuesday, and that waits at Dumbarton Middle School were more than an hour — in part because of some confusion as two polling precincts were combined into one location.
The Sun reported that by 8:15 a.m., lines had thinned and the confusion dissipated as voters shivered in the morning's cool temperatures.
In addition to offices and ballot questions, Baltimore County voters are also deciding several bond referendums that relate to spending on schools and other facilities.
Polls are open in the county until 8 p.m.
When election judges showed up at Hereford High School at 6:30 this morning to prepare for the general election, they found about 45 people already waiting in line. The polls opened at 7 a.m.
By 10:30 a.m., some 394 people had already voted and the line stretched through the lobby and around the building. The precinct has 2,554 registered voters, according to the Baltimore County Board of Elections.