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Early voting gaining in popularity in Washington County

The number of early voters in this year's primary is at least 500 more than in 2010

March 29, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Steven Herson places his votes Saturday on early voting day in Washington County. Polling was conducted in the American Red Cross of Washington County building on Conrad Court.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

The number of Washington County residents taking advantage of early voting for Tuesday’s primary elections was up by more than 500 compared with the 2010 primaries, a county election official said Thursday night.

Six days of early voting concluded in Maryland at 8 p.m. Thursday. 

Kaye Robucci, director of the Washington County Board of Elections, said 1,384 voters cast ballots in the county since Saturday.

Robucci said 292 people cast ballots on Thursday, the highest among the six days.

“They were very busy this morning,” she said.

Robucci said 810 Republicans cast ballots in early voting and 572 Democrats. Two unaffiliated voters also cast ballots, Robucci said.

The two unaffiliated voters said they believed they had changed their party affiliations, so they were allowed to vote using provisional paper ballots, she said.

Election officials will determine if the two voters had changed their  affiliations in time for early voting, she said.

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In the 2010 primary election, 833 county voters took advantage of early voting.

There are 68,438 registered voters in Washington County.

Early voting — an option available to any registered voter — first was offered in Maryland in the 2010 election.

That year, the county’s early voting polling place was in downtown Hagerstown. But it was moved to the American Red Cross of Washington County at 1131 Conrad Court this year after complaints about limited parking at the previous site.

Robucci said that a number of factors might have led to higher early voting totals this year, including heightened interest in the presidential election, expanded parking at the new site and its location off Eastern Boulevard, a busy thoroughfare.

Early voting also continues to increase as people become more used to it, she said.

“Everything’s falling into place” for Tuesday’s primary election, she said, as workers continue to concentrate on details such as getting supplies for poll workers.
 

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