Voting: 'It's My Pleasure and My Duty'
Old Dundalk resident Marian Long encourages all to take advantage of the privilege and the right to vote in elections.
Old Dundalk resident Marian Long sounds like a walking history book.
She takes her voting responsibility seriously and remembers that it is a privilege not available in many places around the world.
"It's my pleasure and my duty," she said to poll workers as she finished casting her votes at Dundalk Middle School and accepted her "I Voted" sticker.
Long, a Keyway resident, told Patch she's a registered Democrat, but that's because that's what seems to count in the blue Old Line State.
"I'm a Republican at heart but a Democrat in Maryland because that's who has a voice in this state," she said. "I would have gladly voted for Nancy Jacobs, but because she's a Republican, I couldn't in the primary. I just have to hope she makes it to the general election and I can vote for her there."
Jacobs is running for the House of Representaives in the 2nd Congressional District. The Republican primary winner will challenge incumbent Dutch Ruppersberger in November's general election.
The appreciative voter arrived at her Dundalk Middle School polling precinct just a little after 2 p.m. and found practically a red carpet to the voting machines—no lines at the check-in table and no wait for the voting machines.
In fact, she was the only voter at the time.
The Democratic ballot offered slim pickings, with unopposed candidates for president (Barack Obama) and the U.S. House of Representatives (Ruppersberger).
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin faced eight Democratic challengers, but won handily. Preliminary results showed Cardin getting 74 percent of the votes with 96 percent of the precincts reporting, according to the Washington Post.
But the lack of candidates in most races didn't matter to Long, who said she never misses an opportunity to vote.
In explaining her comment she made to election judges after voting, Long said it is her duty as a citizen to vote.
"But it is also my pleasure to exercise the ability to have a voice in choosing who leads our country," she said. "There are very few places in this world that absolutely guarantee you the right to vote, the right to vote in privacy, and the right to genuinely vote for the candidate of your choice."
She was a bit concerned about the physical configuration of the voting machines at Dundalk Middle. The machines faced out toward the school lobby, which would allow anyone walking by to look at her selections.
Had the machines been turned around to face the wall, voters would have received the privacy they are promised to cast their votes, she said.
Long said she would just like to encourage her fellow citizens to take advantage of the right and opportunity to cast votes for leadership from local offices up to the White House.
"I think it's more than a shame, it's a disgrace that so few people vote," she said. "And I also believe that if you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain."
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect Ben Cardin's opposition in the primary race for the U.S. Senate.