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Carroll County still setting records with vote-counting nearly complete

Carroll County has voted in record numbers during the 2020 general election, and more than one week after Election Day those numbers are still being tabulated.

Katherine Berry, election director for Carroll County Board of Elections, said via email her staff counted more than 11,000 ballots Monday, which brought the county’s voting turnout rate to 77.9%. That’s comparable to the last five elections, according to Berry’s data that shows Carroll above or around 80% every year since 2000.

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Berry said the county had more than 98,350 ballots cast through Monday, and she was confident Carroll surpass 100,000 by Friday, Nov. 13.

Berry said Tuesday afternoon there were fewer than 3,000 ballots remaining (by mail and provisional).

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That means that what was unofficially the case on Election Day is now clinched as the current margins in the Board of Education race are far greater than the number of ballots left to count.

The BOE race went to the incumbent candidates, with President Donna Sivigny and Vice President Marsha B. Herbert securing the two open spots along the five-member school board.

Sivigny had 29.5% of the vote as of Tuesday afternoon, with 42,875 votes. Herbert was next at 28.1% (40,792 votes). Challengers Virginia R. Harrison and Stephanie Brooks trailed last week and didn’t make up enough ground. Harrison, a former school board member, was at 22.4% (32,607) and Brooks, the first-timer in this year’s race, at 19.3% (28,076).

Herbert said last week she and Sivigny have accomplished a lot with the school system’s strategic plan during their tenure on the board. She said they also played a part in renovating Carroll County Career and Technology Center, and they are working on East Middle School.

Judge Richard Titus had already clinched victory in the Circuit Court judge race. Titus has 63.3% with 56,921 votes with challenger Laura Morton earning 36.5% and 32,834 votes.

Carroll’s two early voting centers brought in more than 35,000 people, according to Berry’s data, which set a county record. Election Day was just as busy, Berry said, particularly at Manchester Valley and Liberty high schools.

“We had two of the top three busiest locations in the state of Maryland on Election Day and had very few complaints from voters about the need to wait in line,” Berry said via email. “Around 50 percent of the people who voted chose to vote in person in Carroll.”

Berry said the most time-consuming part of the in-person process was dealing with those who cast a ballot at any of the county’s 13 poling centers rather than them bringing their mail-in ballots to vote. Provisional ballots set a county record this year, Berry said, with more than 1,800 to process and prepare for the canvassing Nov. 12 and Nov. 13.

The county’s election board fielded move than 2,500 phone calls between June 15 and Nov. 3, Berry said, and nearly doubled that amount in emails.

“Our office prides itself on having the interaction with our voters because we are here to educate and assist our voters,” Berry said.

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