Did you vote in Maryland's election? Here's what readers said motivated them.

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With Maryland voters casting ballots in state, local and congressional races Nov. 6, we wanted to know what motivated them this election season. Here’s what people had to say. Some answers were shortened for clarity.

A right to vote

It is both our privilege and responsibility to vote. I am particularly interested in retaining Gov. Hogan as leader of Maryland. His expectation of fiscal accountability in the city government and both Baltimore City and Baltimore County school systems needs to continue. — Kathleen Rambo, Freeland, Republican


It is both our privilege and responsibility to vote.

—  Kathleen Rambo, Freeland

Voted absentee! I, as a black man, know our ancestors fought and are fighting to get and keep our right to vote. The GOP nationwide is working to hard to suppress the vote for me not affirm my right and power in voting! — Jeffrey Van Brown, Facebook commenter

It took me a long time to become a U.S. citizen — I navigated the system, legally, with my family and then alone for almost 25 years. I held seven different immigration statuses, and it cost a lot, not just money. So voting is my duty and privilege, and I vote every time. In November of 2016, I was an election clerk! I am motivated by the critical importance of voting in mid-term elections, where the Electoral College is not a factor, and voting rights in general. — L Melo, Severn, unaffiliated


I have voted every year since I turned 18. It is the most important right we have as American citizens. — Michael Kutcher, Bel Air, Republican

Voting is my civic duty. I vote because I care about my representation in government, because democracy can't work if people don't participate. Even if my candidate of choice doesn't win, no one can represent my views if I don't take every opportunity to express them. I vote because it took a constitutional amendment for me to be able to vote. Many, many women were imprisoned, or just harassed to secure my right to vote. — Meredith Brown, Annapolis, unaffiliated

I am voting first because its my civic duty, second I'm voting ALL Red to support the president. — Shannon Higgins, Anne Arundel County, Republican

Crossing party lines

I know in Maryland my vote really doesn't matter much, but I wanted to vote AGAINST Hogan even though I'm GOP. I cast some down ballot votes for people that are true conservatives (at least close), but I wrote in votes for Baltimore County State’s Attorney and a few other elected positions. None of the sitting judges I would ever vote for. Those jobs need term limits. — Sean Kammer, Republican

I want to continue with Hogan as governor. And I don't want the socialist Ben Jealous to win. — Katie Deppe, Democrat

Change. Better representation for Marylanders. Continued roll-back of failed/excessive mandates from the previous Governor. [Republican U.S. Senate candidate] Tony Campbell -- New ideas, better values for Marylanders. — Kelly Chafin, Finksburg, Republican

Voting blue. Retired Navy. Used to be a registered Republican, but this administration is an embarrassment. I cannot ever imagine voting Republican again. Trump has made a lasting impression and will forever be the face of the GOP. Not the side of history I want to be supporting! — Melissa McArthur, Facebook commenter, Democrat

I'm a young person and right now I'm extremely dissatisfied with the world I am growing up in. I want a livable future which is why I voted for climate champions who will stand with youth and take bold action on climate action. I'm also tired of all the discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, etc, which is why I wanted to vote for equality. Enough is enough with the senseless gun violence which is why I voted for gun sense candidates. — Iris Zhan, Columbia, unaffiliated


I want candidates that ask questions and don't just vote the party. I want people who will reach across the aisle and find the best solution.

—  Mara Sierocinski, Bel Air, Republican

This year I really read and listened to the candidates and went to a couple of forums. I want candidates that ask questions and don't just vote the party. I want people who will reach across the aisle and find the best solution. — Mara Sierocinski, Bel Air, Republican


I'm 24 years old and I voted early on the first day possible in Montgomery County. As a young voter, our age group is often misrepresented as apathetic, so I found it especially important that I showed up at the polls this year. I was motivated to vote for Ben Jealous for governor because — contrary to the editorial board's opinion — I believe he will bring immense positive change to Maryland. I'm particularly motivated by his commitments to public schools and racial equity. — Grace Plihal, Silver Spring, Democrat

As a young voter, our age group is often misrepresented as apathetic, so I found it especially important that I showed up at the polls this year.

—  Grace Plihal, Silver Spring

I always vote, but getting rid of Andy Harris is important to me this year. He is too far right and does not represent me. I also wanted to make sure my vote for Governor Hogan is cast. He has done very good things for Maryland. I have historically registered Republican but changed parties to vote for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primaries. I rarely vote by party. — Krystal Donahue, Bel Air, Democrat

I believe that libertarianism is making legitimate ground in Maryland. People are fed up with the high tax systems pushed by Democrats and the Maryland Republicans don’t really align with Trump and have no real representation for their views in the state. — Jason Pepino, Severn, Libertarian


[I'm motivated by] the hateful actions of the Democrat party. The constant protesting and getting in people's faces. The Kavanaugh hearings. — John Keenan, Towson, Republican

As an immigrant woman of color who was raised by a single mother, the Trump administration has attacked every bit of my identity through his policies and public sentiments. I am doing everything I can to thwart any of his advances and hope to inspire others to do so. — Maria Valencia, Baltimore, Democrat

First time voting in Maryland midterm

Maryland Policy & Politics


Keep up to date with Maryland politics, elections and important decisions made by federal, state and local government officials.

I've lived in Maryland for three years, but have yet to exercise my right to vote. For the first time in my life, I feel like local politics are even more important than anything happening on a federal level. Given the predicted heavy turnout, I want to make sure that my voice gets added to the masses...If I'm going to be raising a family here in the next 20 years, I want to make sure there's a good framework in place for Baltimore's future. — Seamus McCabe, Baltimore, Unaffiliated

For the first time in my life, I feel like local politics are even more important than anything happening on a federal level.

—  Seamus McCabe, Baltimore

I was already planning to vote this midterm but felt so much better voting for a true progressive in Ben Jealous. I was not 18 yet in 2014 so this was my first chance to vote for the governor of MD. I was also happy to vote against Bryan Simonaire who believes being LGBT is a “lifestyle” and advocates for conversion therapy. — Connor Guercio, Pasadena, Democrat

Access to healthcare

I am a social worker and have seen first-hand how the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Healthcare Act has benefited my community and patients in Baltimore. I am also acutely aware of how private insurance companies interfere with patient care. I remember when I could not get insurance because of a pre-existing condition, and I know what will happen when when my Social Security, Medicare and other benefits I have paid into for decades could be lessened or taken away. — Amanda Agarwal, Baltimore, Democrat


Political ads have influence

Here on the Eastern Shore, there's an ad for a state senator in which Hogan is on video literally calling Democrats the "bad guys." That sealed my vote. — Shelly Copper, Facebook commenter

Yes, myself and my husband voted early. Early on we were team Hogan, but as the campaign got closer we did not like some of the negative ads. Also, we don’t like the current ads that are running where all of a sudden Gov. Hogan has black people in an “urban” setting singing his praises and how his Lt. Gov. is a graduate of Howard University… LOL. As if that’s enough to get the black vote. — Dalia Hunt Sobers, Facebook commenter

Single-issue focus

I’m motivated by ending cannabis prohibition in our state. For many reasons. I’m electing candidates based on their prohibition stance, not their party. — Adam Forrester, Westminster, Unaffiliated