Precinct officials, supporters of candidates and voters reported a light, but steady, turnout at polling places around heavily Republican central and northern Harford County for Tuesday's primary election.

Polling places in Abingdon, Bel Air, Fallston and Jarrettsville were festooned with campaign signs. The grounds at the entrance to Abingdon Elementary School looked like a dandelion-covered field, with campaign signs instead of dandelions.

The polls opened at 7 a.m., and supporters of the various state and local candidates gathered at the legal distance from the polling place entrance for one final appeal to voters.

Ina and Marlin Taylor of Bel Air stood in a near-empty parking lot at Bel Air Elementary School to drum up support for incumbent Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane, a Democrat who is unopposed in the primary, but will face the winner of Tuesday's Republican primary, either Jeff Gahler or John Ryan, in the November general election. He could also face a challenge from an unaffiliated candidate who is gathering signatures to be on the November ballot.

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Marlin Taylor raged at the lack of turnout.

"The world is full of apathy, and nobody gives a damn," he said.

Voters trickled into Bel Air Elementary.

Donna Coale, of Bel Air, and her father, John Reed, 91, arrived to cast their ballots – he for the Republicans and she for the Democrats.

Coale was confident in her choices for high-profile races, such as Attorney General Doug Gansler for governor and Art Helton for state Senate, but said she wanted to know more before voting in less prominent races.

"It would be nice if we knew them a little better, the central committee people," she said of the candidates running for seats on Harford County's Democratic and Republican central committees.


At Fallston High School, voters made their way past supporters of Republican candidates, such as state Del. Pat McDonough and gubernatorial candidate Charles Lollar, of Charles County, as well as Republican Central Committee member Greg Johnson, who is running for re-election.

Anthony Seda, of Aberdeen, was stumping for Lollar in an area expected to be partial to Harford County Executive David Craig, who is also one of the four GOP candidates for the party's nomination for governor.

"Good morning sir, are you voting Republican today?" Seda asked.

"No, I'm not," the voter replied emphatically.

Seda wished him a nice day, then gave campaign literature to a woman who said she was voting Republican.

Later in the morning, Seda asked a woman how she was voting.

"I don't have to tell you that," she replied sharply.

Seda stressed the need to remain positive.

"That's important," he said. "People have got to make their choices; that's the beauty of free will."