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County voter registration up 10,600 over '88


Carroll County residents have decided their votes count.

About 10,600 more residents are registered to vote than in the last presidential election. Most of those potential voters registered after the March primary.

A total of 65,344 voters are registered in the county, compared with 54,752 in 1988, numbers from the county elections board show.

In the March primary, 56,503 people were registered to vote in Carroll, meaning 8,841 people registered to vote in the Nov. 3 election.

County Republican and Democratic leaders say they've made strong efforts to register voters.

"We put a big push on," said Thomas W. Bowen, a member of the Carroll County Republican Central Committee.

"Our drives were very successful," said Bernie Jones, president of the Carroll County Democratic Club.

Members of both parties said they went door to door and set up booths at summer carnivals and other events to register voters.

Republican voters outnumber Democratic voters by 2,564 in Carroll.

Republicans have 31,195 registered voters, the Democrats, 28,631, elections board numbers show.

The total includes people registered as Libertarians or members of other parties and those who declined to affiliate with a party.

The numbers are not final, but are close, elections registrar Gail Carter said Monday. Almost all registrations that came in by the Oct. 5 deadline have been counted, she said.

In the last presidential election, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 881 in Carroll. In 1988, there were 25,868 Democrats and 24,987 Republicans, according to the elections board.

For the March primary, Republicans outnumbered Democrats by in the county. There were 27,259 Republicans and 25,199 Democrats, elections board numbers show.

Statewide, voter registration numbers are up, too.

As of Sept. 30, Maryland had 2,318,989 registered voters, according to the state elections board. In 1988, the state had 2,310,080 registered voters at the time of the general election.

Of the total, there were 1,421,399 Democrats and 687,354 Republicans statewide, the numbers show.

In addition to the presidential race, Carroll voters will be casting ballots for a member of Congress from the 6th District -- either Democrat Thomas H. Hattery or Republican Roscoe G. Bartlett -- and a U.S. senator -- Democrat Barbara A. Mikulski or Republican Alan L. Keyes.

In Carroll, Mr. Jones is confident that Democrats will win presidential, congressional and Senate races.

"Democrats are going to sweep. I just see a victory in Carroll County for Democrats regardless of voter registration," he said.

Ellen Leahy Willis, who is over seeing the coordinated Democratic campaign in Carroll for the three major races, said she expects many Democrats who voted for Ronald Reagan and George Bush to vote Democratic this year.

People will be voting for change, Mr. Jones said.

Republicans are equally hopeful about the outcome of the election.

"We are quite optimistic we are going to do terrific in Carroll County," Mr. Bowen said. "We're out there pushing the Republican ticket."

W. David Blair, president of the Carroll County Republican Club, said potential voters expressed interest in the Republican Party.

"There seemed to be quite a bit of conservatism," he said.

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