Maryland’s eight-day early voting period wrapped up with a record number of voters casting ballots in person before a gubernatorial Election Day.
The election Tuesday will determine whether Republican Gov. Larry Hogan or his Democratic challenger, Ben Jealous, takes an oath of office in January for a four-year term. Also on the ballot are races for U.S. Senate, Maryland’s eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Maryland General Assembly and county offices.
Here’s a look at some of the numbers from the reports on early voting from Oct. 25 through Thursday:
» 661,276: That’s the total number of early votes cast in Maryland this year. It compares with 307,466 cast during early voting in the last gubernatorial election in 2014 and with 874,753 for early voting during the 2016 presidential election. Presidential election years generally have much higher turnout than gubernatorial election years.
» 3,733: Number of voters who completed same-day new registrations during this year’s general election early voting. Democrats bested Republicans in new registrations 2,430 to 617 — that’s close to a 4-1 margin. The first time Maryland voters could register and vote the same day during early voting was in 2016, when 7,884 people registered during the early-voting period for the general election.
» 31.6 percent: The percentage of eligible voters who voted early in Talbot County, the highest in the state. Early voting has become very popular in the Middle Shore counties — Queen Anne’s is second-highest and Kent is third.
» 6.2 percent: While western Maryland and the Eastern Shore tend to favor Republicans, they part ways on their enthusiasm for voting early. This is the percentage of eligible voters who cast early ballots in Allegany County, by far the lowest in the state. Neighboring Washington County is the next lowest at 9.2 percent.
» 19.5 percent: That’s the percentage of eligible Democratic voters who went to the polls before Election Day. That’s twice the 9.3 percent in 2014. Early voting was a Democratic initiative in Maryland, and with the exception of 2014, party members have taken to the practice significantly more than Republicans or unaffiliated voters.
» 15.4 percent: This year’s percentage of eligible Republicans who voted early exceeded 2014’s 9.2 percent, but the gap between their numbers and the Democrats’ grew larger. Hogan and his wife voted early in Annapolis.
» 113,065: The number of voters who cast ballots on Thursday. That compares with 62,457 on the final day of early voting four years ago and 143,494 in the 2016 presidential election.
» 12.2 percent: Percentage of eligible voters who voted early in Baltimore, which has no competitive local races on the ballot.
» 18.4 percent: Percentage of eligible voters who voted early in Baltimore County, which has a highly competitive race for county executive and some hard-fought legislative contests.