Voter Turnout the Lowest in Recent Memory
Primary polling places in Dundalk were slow and lonely on Tuesday.
Across Dundalk and Edgemere, polling places looked mostly empty and lonely Tuesday, Maryland's primary election day.
At Dundalk Middle School, just 98 voters had signed in to cast their ballots as of 2:15 p.m.
While the site's chief judges would not disclose how many voters are registered to vote at the school, both said turnout was the lowest in recent memory.
"Turnout has been very slow," Democratic Chief Judge Mya Collins said Tuesday afternoon. "About as slow as I can ever remember."
Collins has been working the Dundalk Middle polls for about seven years.
Her Republican counterpart, Vicki Matthews, said the turnout was the lowest of her eight years on the job.
Matthews said she assumed voter traffic would pick up at the end of the work day.
Chesapeake Terrace Elementary School in Edgemere was similarly quiet at about 11 a.m. Tuesday.
With no line at either the check-in desk or voting machines, and a mostly unopposed Democratic ballot, a certain Patch editor was in and out of the polls in less than five minutes.
Weather certainly cannot be blamed for the low turnout, with Tuesday a warm and sunny day.
Across Maryland, about 10 percent of registered voters showed up at the polls, according to WBAL-TV reports that referred to the turnout as "abysmal."
That stands in sharp contrast to the 40 percent turnout for the February 2008 primary, in spite of an ice storm that struck the region.
The difference, according to WBAL, is that 2008 saw a contested Democratic primary after an incumbent Republican President was leaving office after two terms.
Maryland registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a more than two-to-one ratio, according to WBAL.
At Dundalk Middle Tuesday afternoon, Keyway resident Marian Long was the lone voter in attendance.
She said she tries to never miss a voting opportunity, citing it as a civic duty and a responsibility as a citizen of the United States.
"I think it's more than a shame, it's a disgrace that so few people vote," she said Tuesday. "And I also believe that if you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain."