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Howard County Times
Howard County

Turnout low for in-person voting Tuesday in Howard County

At Long Reach High School in Columbia Tuesday morning, brightly colored campaign signs lined the parking lot, while candidates and community members dressed in campaign T-shirts greeted voters as they entered the gymnasium to cast their votes.

Howard County Election Director Guy Mickley said turnout for in-person voting seemed lower than in previous years, likely prompted by the ease of mail-in voting, which has been an option to any voter for any reason since 2020.

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Howard County has 228,019 registered voters. As of Monday, about 13,000 mail-in ballots had been returned to the Howard County Board of Elections, Mickley said, and 10,471 registered voters (4.6%) participated in early voting.

For Tuesday’s in-person voting, “the unofficial turnout at 11 a.m. [Tuesday] was 7,083, which is tracking lower than [the last midterm election in] 2018,” he said. “My guess would be it’s because of the mail-in ballot process; it’s taken away from both early voting turnout and Election Day turnout.”

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Early voting results will be calculated today, and numbers will be released when polls close at 8 p.m. Mail-in and provisional ballots will be counted beginning at 10 a.m., Thursday.

David Greenberg, 61, of Long Reach, voted in person Tuesday at the high school. Greenberg’s three children graduated from the school, and he said he is pleased with the education they received and does not want to see drastic changes being made to the school board.

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“The school board race was very important and there are a lot of school boards around the country where people have decided there are some boogiemen that they have to go after and deal with and I just think it’s nonsense,” he said. “I like where things are going, so I’m not trying to change things up crazily.”

Janine Pollack, 48, of Long Reach, also voted at the high school Tuesday. An environmental scientist at NASA, she said she voted to reelect County Executive Calvin Ball because of the Democrat’s work to protect the environment.

“Environment is my main thing, so that’s kind of what I look for,” she said. “[Ball] has been really good for the environment and I’m hoping he continues that.”

Tyree Glenn, 19, of Long Reach, voted for the first time Tuesday. A student at Howard Community College, he said he wanted to make his voice heard.

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“I decided to vote because I feel like every vote counts and if I didn’t, then who knows, my vote probably could have made a change,” Glenn said.

Howard County voters will choose candidates for county executive, county council, state’s attorney, clerk of the circuit court, register of wills, judge of the orphans’ court, sheriff, Republican Central Committee, Democratic Central Committee and board of education on the local level, and governor, comptroller, attorney general, U.S. senator, U.S. representative in Congress, state senator, House of Delegates and judge of the circuit court on the state level.


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