Carroll County voters turned out in strong numbers for the Nov. 6 general election, with more than 75 percent of eligible voters casting ballots either on election day or in early voting sessions last week.
With 36 of 39 precincts reporting as of 10:45 p.m., results from the Board of Elections show the county backed Republican candidates in the races for president and U.S. Congress, while Carroll voters expressed a strong displeasure for a quartet of controversial statewide ballot questions.
The county overwhelmingly rejected Questions 4, 5, 6 and 7 — regarding in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, congressional boundaries, same-sex marriage and a sixth casino in Maryland, respectively — although all four of those appeared headed for approval statewide.
Change at school board
At the strictly local level, county residents voted for change at the county Board of Education.
In a race for two school board seats — with two incumbents and two challengers vying — voters appear to have ousted longtime school board member Cynthia Foley, of Westminster, but retained incumbent Jennifer Seidel, the current school board president and a Mount Airy resident.
Seidel earned 29.5 percent of the overall vote, while challenger Jim Doolan, of Westminster, came in with 27 percent to claim the second open seat, with 36 of 39 precints reporting.
Finksburg resident Ginger DiMaggio was third with 22.9 percent, and Foley, who had previously served as the board president, was fourth with 20 percent.
President and Congress
Also with 36 of 39 county precincts reporting, Carroll County had backed the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for president and vice president over incumbent President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Carroll voters gave Romney/Ryan 65.2 percent of the county's votes for president, while Obama/Biden netted 31.5 percent.
Across Maryland, however, voters were giving the nod to Obama/Biden, 60 percent to Romney/Ryan's 37 percent, according to Maryland Board of Elections unofficial results, giving the Democrat ticket the state's 10 electoral votes.
In the race for U.S. Senate, GOP challenger Daniel Bongino received 48.9 percent of the Carroll's vote compared to 26 percent for incumbent Democrat Ben Cardin, but Cardin was cruising toward victory statewide, netting 54 percent of the vote compared to 27 percent for Bongino. Independent S. Rob Sobhani had about 23.6 percent in Carroll, but just 17 statewide.
In the House of Representatives, Carroll is now split between two districts — the northern half of the county in the 1st District and the lower portion in the 8th District.
In the 1st, incumbent Republican Andy Harris won easily in both the county and statewide, getting 72.7 percent of Carroll votes and 64 percent statewide.
In the 8th District, the county backed Republican challenger Ken Timmerman with 62.2 percent of the vote compared to 32.2 percent for incumbent Democrat Chris Van Hollen.
But statewide, that was reversed, with Van Hollen getting 60 percent of the vote in preliminary results, and Timmerman getting 36.
On statewide ballot questions, two were very close in the statewide tallies, according to numbers from the Maryland Board of Elections as of about 1 a.m. Wednesday night.
The controversial Question 6, pertaining to same-sex marriage, was showing 51.4 percent in favor and 48.6 percent against in the statewide tally. In Carroll County, voters had overwhelmingly rejected that question, with 56.5 percent against and 43.5 in favor.
On the gambling expansion measure, Question 7, it was also tight statewide, with 51.8 percent in favor and 48.2 percent against. In Carroll, voters cast 55 percent of votes again and 44.8 in favor.
Carroll Countians also rejected Question 4, pertaining to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, 62.9 percent to 37 percent; and Question 5, regarding the state legislature's drawing of new district maps, 53.8 percent to 46 percent.
But both of those measures won wide approval across the state, with Question 4 getting 57.7 percent in favor according to preliminary tallies; and Question 5 getting 63.4 percent, according to the state's unofficial results.