Early voting picked up steam on the final two days to close with a flourish in Harford County.
Almost 4 percent of the county's eligible voters participated over the eight days of early voting that ran from June 12 through 8 p.m. Thursday, according to the Maryland Board of Elections.
In all, 6,261 early votes were cast in Harford.
According to the Harford County Board of Elections, there are 68,974 registered Republicans and 63,312 Democrats eligible to cast votes in this year's primary election which is Tuesday. In addition, the 32,942 voters not affiliated with either major party could vote for school board members in the respective county council districts this primary season.
Though early voting started out slowly in Harford, the biggest turnouts were registered on the final two days, Wednesday and Thursday, at 1,012 and 1,245, respectively.
More than one out of two early votes in Harford were cast at the McFaul Activities Center in Bel Air, which registered 3,286, according to state board of elections figures. Jarrettsville Library was next with 1,103, followed by Edgewood Library with 1,072 and University Center in Aberdeen with 800.
This election is the first time since early voting began that four sites were offered in Harford, based on the growth in total registrations since the 2012 presidential election. McFaul had been the only site available in 2012.
Despite the pickup in activity the last two days, there was no apparent rush to get to the polls – and no difficulty getting in and out quickly.
It took less than five minutes to cast a ballot at the McFaul Center during the final hour of voting Thursday, as the last minute voters were well outnumbered by campaigning candidates and their supporters outside the building and poll workers inside.
According to statewide figures, more than 141,000 people voted early, setting a record for a primary election since early voting began in the state in 2010. The overall turnout rate was just over 4 percent.
Turnouts by county ranged from a low of 1.5 percent in Allegany County to a high of 10 percent in Talbot County.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun