Earlier, two precincts at Sparks Elementary School saw a total of 723 voters in the first three hours. The combined number of voters in the two precincts is 4,367.

Further north at the Parkton American Legion, lines were small at 11 a.m. where 285 of the 1,066 registered voters had voted.

Election judges at all four precincts said there were no problems other than long lines. A judge in precinct 801 at Sparks said one person questioned the ballot, unaware that redistricting meant he is now in the 7th Congressional District, not the 6th.

By 7 a.m. at Catonsville High School, about 100 stood in a line that snaked around the corridor to the gym door.

"We were hoping there were going to be big lines," said Bill Turner, of Catonsville.

"There are critical ballot issues," Tom Goodman, of Catonsville, said. "It's a celebration of the end of all the ads," he added with a laugh. "And the phone calls."

Early voting wasn't an option for Elizabeth Snouffer, though she tried, stopping Sunday at the Bloomsbury Community Center. "I got there and the line was so long I just kept going," said Snouffer, who waited to vote with her daughter Rosa Snouffer.

Louise Ricketts, a Catonsville native, has been volunteering for campaigns since the days of Kennedy and Nixon. Today, she was campaigning for Question 6, the referendum on gay marriage.

"I've had a lot of people really down about it," she said. "And I've had quite a few that are, 'Yes! I'm for it.' "

Sharing the sidewalk with her was the Rev. David Casey, a campaigner for the DREAM Act.

"I want to be sure there's an educated workforce when I retire," said the son of an immigrant mother. It's really a question of fairness, he added. "There should be one Maryland where we can all work together," he said.

When the polls opened at the Arbutus fire hall, the line of voters stretched out the door. But the line moved quickly and voters waited only 15 minutes to cast their ballots.

Hilda Moore, of Arbutus, was in line by 7:15 a.m. Usually an after-work voter, she had decided to try voting early. "I vote every time there's an election," she said.

So does Julie Cannon, an Arbutus voter especially concerned about Question 6. "I consider voting to be extremely important," she said.

Tony Massimini, the Democratic chief election judge in Arbutus, estimated that about 150 had voted by 7:30 a.m.

"We've had a great turnout this morning," he said and then added that he expects the polls to be packed when the work day ends.

Mark Mangus had already been working for three hours when he took a break to come to the polls. "It was a good stopping point so I though I'd come down and get my vote in," he said.