The long lines that greeted Maryland voters this morning had dissipated at Upper Marlboro precincts by afternoon.
Wencil Stanek, chief judge of precinct 0306 at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, said when polls opened at 7 a.m. there were 400 people in line ready to vote. That translated to a two to three hour wait.
“I was telling people in line to come after 2 p.m.,” Stanek said.
By 2 p.m., the lines to vote were gone, as compared to 2008 when long lines stayed at that precinct until 4 p.m.
Early voting took some pressure off of the voting places on Election Day, Stanek said.
“I early voted,” he said. “I waited four hours and there were still 100 people behind me.”
There were about 1,600 voters who voted by 7:30 p.m. of the 3,500 registered voters in that precinct, Stanek said.
Melanie Foster, chief judge of precinct 0304, said by 7 p.m., they had 1,145 of the 1,400 registered voters in that precinct come out to vote at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High.
There were 898 Democrats, 46 Republicans and 99 unaffiliated or other parties.
“We haven’t seen as many elderly today,” Foster said. “I think they went out to early vote.”
Foster helped out in College Park during the early voting and said there were around 4,000 people that come through each day.
Michael Rhinehurst voted a provisional ballot at the junior high because of the long line at his precinct in Chillum. It was the first time that he voted a provisional ballot, he said.
He voted against Question 7, the gambling expansion referendum, because there wasn’t a guarantee that all the money would go to schools.
Another Upper Marlboro voter, Alexander Williams, cast a ballot against Question 6, to allow civil unions between same-sex couples. But, he voted for Question 7 because he believed it would bring jobs to the community.
As the 8 p.m. voting deadline came, 19-year-old school board candidate Raaheela Ahmed, was still greeting the few who still came to vote at the First Baptist Church.
Ahmed started greeting voters at 6:45 a.m.
“I think I’ve greeted nearly 1,000 people who came out to vote,” she said.
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