Carrie Ann Knauer reports:
Northwest Middle School, 7:50 a.m.
Visiting the polling station at Northwest Middle is like going to a block party -- everybody knows each other and looks forward to hanging out together.
The same was true this morning, but that meant it took a while to get some people who wanted to share their voting choices, many people prefer to keep this private.
Charles Inman of Taneytown was happy to say that he voted for Rick Santorum.
"He best represents my beliefs and he's not a member of the establishment," Inman said.
Still, he thinks that Mitt Romney is going to get the nomination.
John Joy of Taneytown didn't want to share his choice, but said that he was glad to see so many returning faces that he was familiar with in the candidate pool this year.
Regardless of who wins, Joy said he hopes that there will be big changes in where the country is headed.
"Business is slow, a lot of people are out of jobs, people are losing their homes," Joy said.
America is supposed to be the greatest country in the world, he said, but it doesn't feel like it.
David Duree of Taneytown also did not want to divulge who he voted for, but he said he was not very satisfied with this year's candidates or the race. This year's race has had a lot of people ripping into each other, he said, with even more negativity than usual. Still, he had no excuse not to turn out to vote, he said.
"I think it's a duty to vote, sometimes it is more enthusiastically done than today," he said.
West Middle School, 7:03 a.m.
Hoping to catch a line at opening for this central Westminster polling place, I was disappointed to see just a half dozen voters at the booths at 7:03 a.m.
"A lot of people who normally would have come early probably did early voting," said Rebecca Fisher, one of the chief judges at West Middle. This is the second year with early voting, she said, and she thinks the early commuters who would have had a hard time stopping to vote on their way to work took advantage of early voting instead.
But the handful of voters who were at West Middle at the opening of Primary Day were in good spirits.
"The whole process has me excited," Ted Forman of Westminster said of the voting process. Forman said he was happy to be voting for Rick Santorum for the Republican presidential candidate.
"I think he's the truest conservative and represents my beliefs."
Kevin Miller of Westminster also voted for Santorum, but said he feels that it may be difficult for Santorum to overtake Mitt Romney. Whoever wins the Republican primary, however, will be his vote for the general election.
"I'll vote for anybody except Obama," Miller said.
Charles Carroll Elementary School, 9:05 a.m.
This post is coming a little late because I literally could not find an outlet that was not in use in the polling station at Charles Carroll. So I've made the drive to Manchester Valley High School and am posting from there.
Things were very slow at Charles Carroll. Election staff clearly outnumbered voters at 9:05 a.m., an early enough time that the pace should still be pretty steady.
"This is the quietest election I can remember," said Tony Foreman, one of the chief election judges. "I think it's the general uninterest in a primary election."
Mariana Rawlings of Silver Run said she voted for Mitt Romney, though he wasn't her first choice.
"I like Ron Paul, but he's not going to make it," she said, so she thought she'd vote for someone who had a better chance at not only winning the primary but winning the general election as well.
"I think [Romney] would make a nice president," she said.
George Grammer said he voted for Rick Santorum, a candidate he has supported since the beginning of the election season. He said he doesn't care whether Romney is getting more support or not.
"It will be tight," he said. "I'll vote for anybody that runs against Obama."
And now to talk to the Manchester Valley electorate.
Manchester Valley High School, 9:57 a.m.
Voting is just as slow at Manchester Valley, but Elwin Wagner, a chief election judge, said that since 9 a.m. there has been a more steady, if light, group of seniors coming in to vote.
This is the first time that Manchester Valley has been a polling location, Wagner said, and while notices were sent to all voters in the district, he wonders how many people went to Manchester Elementary out of habit. A few voters mentioned some confusion on following the signs to the Manchester Valley cafeteria, but eventually they found it.
Justin Hadel of Manchester said he voted for Ron Paul, whom he agrees with the most of the Republican candidates, especially on fiscal policies.
"You know it's going to be Romney that gets [the nomination]," he said, but he still felt he needed to vote for the candidate he most believed in.
"It's almost like voting for Nader," Hadel joked.
Ron and Robin Miles of Manchester said they were not at all pleased with this year's Republican candidates.
"This is the most unexcitable election we've ever had," Ron Miles said.
Robin Miles said there are several people she would have liked to see enter the race, such as Colin Powell, but she can understand why some people wouldn't get into the race with politics in the state they are in.
"There's nobody out there this year that you can trust," she said.
Ron Miles said he wants a candidate that will stand up for the little people.
"We've got to quit putting people in office that have more money than the national debt," he said.
North Carroll Middle School, 10:45 a.m.
Trying to interview a voter at North Carroll Middle feels more like I'm on stakeout. After talking to just two voters, I decide it's time to move on.
Cynthia Langston, of Manchester, said she's always excited to come out and vote and that she's enjoyed this campaign season.
"I think it's been very interesting, and I hope it goes to the end," she said.
Langston said she didn't want to say who she voted because she thinks early reports about particular candidates can discourage other voters from coming out. And the candidate who seems to be getting the most press - Mitt Romney - has certainly been active in her area, particularly with phone messages, she said, over the last few days.
"It's like he's phone stalking me," she said with a laugh.
Her husband, Ted Langston, said that he had mixed feelings over candidates this year but he supported Romney.
"At this time, he seems to be the person who's going to bring everyone together and have a solid platform," he said, "whereas the other candidates seem more intentional about attacking each other."
Andrew DeMario, a chief election judge at North Carroll Middle, said it's been a very slow morning, with just 155 votes by 11 a.m. He thinks that early voting may have drawn off some of the usual morning voters.
"Hopefully it will pick up tonight," he said.
Sandymount Elementary School, 12:14 p.m.
It's been a slow morning at Sandymount, said Doris Leppo, a chief election judge, but voters have been very pleasant today.
She believes voter turnout is slow because it's a primary, and that things will pick up for the general election. The polling place had 20 voting machines for the primary, she said, but based on turnout for the last general election, she's hoping to get 30 machines this fall.
The last election had a line of waiting voters fish-tailing through the gymnasium.
Morgan Eichensehr of Finksburg came out for her first election today.
Eichensehr said she will be 18 in September, which qualified her to vote in the primary despite being 17.
In order to prepare for the primary election, she said she did a lot of Googling of the candidates and also talked to her government teacher. As for the candidates, as a Democrat, Eichensehr said she didn't have many to choose from, but she was happy with the choices she did make. She's looking forward to voting again in the general election.
Randy Panos of Finksburg said he was not happy with the Republican candidates this year.
"I'm very unhappy with the choices, but you have to pick," he said.
Panos said he believes there are a lot of Republicans who would have made better candidates but didn't want to get in the race because of all the mudslinging that goes on.
"I'm plain disgusted," he said.
Gould Gibbons of Finksburg was also unhappy.
"I'm kind of in a state of depression over our national state, and I don't think we have strong opposing candidates," Gibbon said, though he felt any of them would be better than the current administration.
It's hard to know who you can trust, he said, because no one seems to live up to their campaign promises.
"They speak a certain way, but then they don't seem to follow through," he said.
Mechanicsville Elementary School, 1:04 p.m.
There are two districts that vote out of Mechanicsville, and both have had low turnout so far. At the smaller of the two districts, which has just five voting machines, election judge Carlos Wharry said they hadn't hit 100 of their 1,280 registered voters yet by 1 p.m.
"We're one of the smallest districts in the county," Wharry said, but he and the other judges still have a good time while they wait for the voters to trickle in.
Some of the voters have been confused about the new congressional districts, he said. They expect to see Roscoe Bartlett as one of their options, but they are no longer a part of the congressman's district.
At the other polling station at Mechanicsville, which has 15 voting booths, chief election judge Theresa Stromberg said it's been "surprisingly dead."
Stromberg said there were maybe three people at the station when they opened this morning, and at the greatest rush there never was a line.
"The greatest thing we've had to report is we've had a great potluck," she said.