More than twice as many Carroll countians have turned out over the first five days of early voting than during the most recent gubernatorial election in 2014, with nearly 10,000 people voting through Monday. The increase mirrors what is happening across the state in early voting, which continues through Thursday, Nov. 1.

On Oct. 25, the first day of early voting, 2,122 Carroll voters turned out — not counting provisional ballots. That was nearly four times as many as the 675 first-day voters during the primary election and it was nearly on par with the 2016 presidential election. Turnout is typically higher for presidential elections and, two years ago, 2,365 ballots were cast on the first day of early voting in Carroll County.


This election’s first day of early voting nearly doubled the first day of early voting in the general election during the 2014 gubernatorial election, when 1,182 people voted.

At the Westminster Senior and Community Center and the South Carroll Swim Club, voters lined up before 10 a.m. Thursday, eager to cast their ballots during the first day of early voting.

And in the five days since early voting began, numbers have continued steady, with Monday seeing the highest numbers so far. The first day saw 2,122 voters, with 2,105 the second day followed by 1,637, 1,677 and — on Monday — 2,350. These numbers are unofficial and do not count provisional ballots.

As of about 5 p.m. Tuesday, 1,762 more people had voted.

These numbers were, at most, about 600 votes apart between this year and the presidential race, where day three saw 1,637 in 2018 and 2,227 2016. And day five this year actually saw 17 more voters turn out than in 2016. In 2014, about 1,000 fewer voters turned out each day.

“We’ve had some voters overwhelmed at the length of the line at the Westminster Senior [and Community] Center, but the maximum wait time [Monday] was about 45 minutes,” Katherine Berry, the county’s election director, said via email. “This was only for a brief time. Longer lines at the Westminster Senior Center had occurred from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Monday.”

Berry said on Tuesday, both centers have had a steady stream of people coming in, but a wait of 15 minutes or more was over by 11 a.m.

“Most times, people come in small groups at a time and wait times are kept to a minimum,” Berry said, adding that she has been working to post line length updates on their Facebook as frequently as possible.

The uptick in voter numbers isn’t just in Carroll — Maryland as a whole has seen voter turnout more than double what it was during the most recent gubernatorial election. After five days of early voting, about 370,000 Marylanders have cast ballots in the general election — a 135 percent increase from the same time in 2014, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Halfway through Maryland’s early voting, turnout is more than double where it was during the 2014 gubernatorial election. That's a development Democrats are touting as a good sign for their candidates. But state officials say given past patterns, early voting is taking voters from Election Day.

The increase in turnout appears to be on par for both Democrats and Republicans, which means Carroll may not see the “blue wave” that has been discussed, and that some early voters this year cited as their reason for turning out.

In the first five days of voting this year, 5,235 Republicans and 3,400 Democrats voted, numbers that are similar to 2016, when 5,994 Republicans voted and 3,938 Democrats voted. Roughly three times the number of Democrats and slightly more than twice as many Republicans have voted through five days this year compared to 2014, when 2,509 Republicans and 1,205 Democrats voted.

Unofficially, Carroll saw 9,891 voters during the first five days of early voting, not far behind the 11,532 in 2016 and more than double the 4,165 in 2014.

With two days left, Berry said she expects voter turnout to increase on the final two days.

“Looking at this chart, you can see the trend is always more as the week goes on,” Berry said. “I am looking forward to see what the last two day numbers look like because the weather is supposed to be really nice, too.”

Early voting runs for a total of eight days, and the final day is Thursday. Carroll County’s two polling centers, the Westminster Senior Activities Center, 125 Stoner Ave., and the South Carroll Swim Club, 1900 W. Liberty Road, near Winfield. Both are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the remainder of early voting.