Another eventful election has come and gone. Congratulations go out to the winners. Condolences go out to the losers, but with thanks for being a part of the process.

Most important, thanks go out to the voters, who turned out in solid numbers in Carroll County, outpacing Maryland as a whole. Unofficially, with absentee and provisional ballots still to be counted, Carroll County has cast 72,429 votes. With 120,916 registered voters, that’s a percentage of 59.9. (Maryland’s overall percentage was around 54). In 2014, during the last midterm election, some 2,000 Carroll votes were tallied after Election Day. With similar numbers this year, some 10,000 more voters will have come out than in 2014 and Carroll would have one of the higher percentages in the state at around 61.5 percent.


Carroll County voters went to the polls on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6. Here's a sampling of their thoughts on the local races, the Maryland gubernatorial race and President Donald Trump, who isn't on the ballot but looms large over this election.

The numbers look even stronger when you consider the lousy (but typical for 2018) weather and that, outside of the Board of Education race, there were few hotly contested races in Carroll. It didn’t take a seasoned political scientist to accurately predict most of the Carroll results, with Republican commissioner candidates easily winning both of the contested races in a county that incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan won with a whopping 84 percent of the vote. Or that all three incumbent delegates as well as Sen. Justin Ready, all Republicans, would cruise in Legislative District 5.

Still, It could be argued that Carroll was influenced at least to some degree by the movement that resonated nationally on Tuesday night. On the same night so many women were elected to powerful offices, Maria L. Oesterreicher became the first female Circuit Court judge in Carroll County history. And two of the three elected to the school board were women. On the night that Democrats retook the House of Representatives, while no Democrat won a partisan race here, Maria Warburton showed that perhaps that party is getting closer to a win. Warburton lost to incumbent Dennis Frazier in the District 3 commissioner race in a rematch of the 2014 election, but she was significantly more competitive this time around, garnering 37.3 percent of the vote four years after receiving 25.8 percent. And, in Legislative District 9, part of which runs through Carroll, Democrat Katie Fry Hester leads incumbent Republican Gail Bates in a race that was too close to call before provisional and absentee ballots are counted. In Carroll, Bates has thus far received 62 percent of the vote. But four years ago, Bates received 76 percent. So, if Hester holds on for a narrow win, Carroll will have played a role.

Patricia Dorsey, Tara Battaglia and Kenneth Kiler won the three seats on the Carroll County Board of Education, ousting incumbent and current school board President Bob Lord.

We’ll see what all this means going forward. But while voters spoke with their ballots on Tuesday, they also sent a message with much of what they said after taking part in this critical process. Whether it was a first-time voter or someone who’s been voting since before there were televisions to broadcast too-early victory projections, whether a Trump fan or hater, whether left or right or somewhere in-between, most had a strong sense of the importance of coming out to do their civic duty.

Said Michael Shaeffer, of Union Bridge: “I vote every election, local, state, whatever it is, I vote.”

Said Dennis Broderick, of Finksburg: “It’s very important for everybody to have a voice and a say in their government,”

Said Earl Hawk, a veteran, of Westminster: “Having seen so many people over the years who would literally give their lives for this privilege, I would walk through 4 feet of snow to vote.”

And if none of them best summed up the reason to come out on Election Day, perhaps that honor went to Mount Airy’s Pat McCarty, who said he felt compelled to vote to “keep the stupid people out of power.”