Maryland makes history in 2012 election - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Maryland makes history in 2012 election

Maryland turnout was not as strong as 2008 – partly because it was not a battleground state for either  presidential candidate comparable to Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, but it didn’t stop the state from making history.

Maryland became  only the third state to pass a marriage amendment to the constitution that allows same-sex marriages. The Free State joined Maine and Washington as the only states in the union to allow marriage equality.

Voters began lining up at polls as early as 6 a.m. to guarantee their vote could be cast. Election judges in Maryland opened lines for voting at 7 a.m., speeding voters through the process quickly and efficiently.

Baltimore city voters came out in large numbers, with 195,298 voters casting ballots for Obama and 24,550 for Romney. Both Baltimore city and Baltimore County went for Obama, where he received 88 percent  and 57 percent of the vote respectively. Maryland also re-elected Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin.

Voters rejected the opponent’s argument that Casinos will lead to more social problems and not fill the education coffers. Get ready for Casinos at National Harbor – the Gateway to Maryland.

Montgomery County also was won by Obama in an overwhelming fashion with 71 percent of the vote. Romney received 27 percent.

Besides same-sex marriage Maryland voters approved referendums for The Dream Act, which gives illegal immigrants in state tuition, congressional redistricting, and for the expansion of gambling in the state at National  Harbor in Prince George’s County. No referendum received more than 55 percent of the vote.

“It’s part of our civic duty,” said Mark Patterson, a federal employee voting before work. Patterson has had a strict tradition of voting on election day. Election day as a national priority has lost some of it’s luster due to the onset of early voting. Early voting had been a major part of the election in 2008, accounting for close to 30 percent of all votes cast.

Voter turnout in Patterson’s county, Calvert County, numbered over 30,000 on Tuesday. Romney won Calvert. He captured  53 percent to Obama’s 45 percent but the counties with the largest population brought it home for the President.

Voter turnout overall was down from 2008, when over 2.5 million people voted in Maryland, about 67 percent of the population. This year only 2.3 million people voted.

Baltimore County and Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County make up the largest areas of voters. All four of these areas voted Democratic. Baltimore County was the only one of the four to have less than 70 percent of the vote go for Obama.

“Today was my first time voting, so I had to make the drive here, but it was worth it to do this,” said David Henson, a senior at Salisbury University. Henson said his experience as a first time voter was a positive one. Fellow voters and election judges at the polls were helpful and willing to guide him through the process. Henson commented that many of his friends would not be making the trip from Salisbury to vote.

“That was the longest I’ve ever waited,” said Pamela Taylor, a federal employee voting on her way to work. She said she was only in line for around 20 minutes, which was quick compared to previous years. Taylor said that in person voting was very important, since the country is given a day to vote.

“It makes you feel special,” Taylor said. “It makes you feel like part of something bigger.”

About the author

Cullen Oliff

Cullen Oliff is pursuing a degree in English with a concentration in Communication and Technology at UMBC. He spends most of his time either in a classroom or in a car driving along I-97. He plans to move closer to the Baltimore area soon.Whenever he isn’t writing for the Baltimore Post-Examiner or for school, Cullen enjoys reading bad science fiction novels and watching sports. He also is a fan of literature and poetry, occasionally writing some himself. Contact the author.

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