More Carroll countians voted for Donald Trump during the 2020 general election than in 2016, but there were also more ballots cast for the Democratic candidate than four years ago, when Trump won the county in decisive fashion on his way to becoming the 45th president of the United States.
Carroll County topped 100,000 ballots cast for the first time in history and also set a record for early voting based on final totals certified by the county’s Board of Elections on Monday.
In 2016, Trump earned 58,215 votes in Carroll, taking 63.4% of ballots cast, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 26,567 votes (28.9%). This year, Trump totaled 60,218 for 60% while President-elect Joe Biden received 36,456 votes (36.3%).
Still, just as Clinton picked up Maryland’s 10 electoral votes in 2016, Biden did the same this year in keeping with the state’s tradition. Maryland has been a Democratic state during this process in every election since 1988, according to numbers from the state’s Board of Elections website.
More than 100,900 ballots were cast in Carroll during the 2020 general election, a turnout rate of 79.96%. That’s up from four years ago, when 77.65% of the county’s registered voters participated. Carroll County had an 82.83% turnout rate in 2004, the highest percentage of this century.
But each election since 2000 has seen percentages at or near 80% ― the 2016 number is the lowest of the millennium despite being near the other turnouts, and 92,513 came out to vote. More than 88,000 voted in 2012 (with 110,400 registered voters), and more than 79,000 did it in 2008 (105,449). In 2004, Carroll saw 74,893 ballots cast out of 95,979 registered voters.
Carroll County had 35,414 ballots cast during the early voting process, which ran from Oct. 26 through Nov. 2 between two voting centers, more than 25,000 of which went for Trump. Fewer than 20,000 took part in early voting in 2016, which topped the county’s previous record for that period, according to data from the Board of Elections site.
On Election Day, 27,679 Carroll voters turned out with nearly 22,000 going for Trump.
More than 37,200 mail-in ballots came in this year, according to state board of elections numbers. In line with the national trend that saw Democrats utilize mail-in voting in much higher numbers than Republicans, Biden got 22,754 mail-in votes from Carroll this year, compared to 12,658 for Trump.
“Even with all of the changes this year, Carroll County’s turnout still represents that a majority of people prefer to vote in-person. We have great voters, election judges, staff and board that all do their jobs very well,” said county election director Katherine Berry via email. “There were many curveballs and stressful periods of time, but we pulled through without any serious COVID outbreaks among my staff or election judges. It will be interesting to see if the Maryland General Assembly makes any of these changes more permanent in future elections.”
Berry has said Carroll County is set to add a third early voting center in time for the 2024 election.
Donna Sivigny and Marsha B. Herbert retained their positions on the Carroll County Board of Education. Sivigny, the current school board president, finished with 43,711 votes (29.42%) while Herbert, the vice president, came in at 41,643 votes (28%). Fellow candidates Virginia R. Harrison (33,390 votes, 22.47%) and Stephanie R. Brooks (28,868, 19.43%) rounded out the race.
Richard R. Titus is staying put as Carroll’s Circuit Court judge. Titus collected 58,088 votes, good for 63.06%, to stay clear of opponent Laura Morton (33,838 votes, 36.73%).
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Republican incumbent Rep. Andy Harris overwhelmed Democratic opponent Mia Mason as Carroll’s pick for Congress in District 1. Harris received 27,258 votes to Mason’s 10,454, good for 72.16%. Carroll also went Republican in the District 8 race, as challenger Gregory Thomas Coll earned 60.86% of the votes against incumbent Jamie Raskin. However, Raskin easily retained his position with 67.3% of the vote overall.