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National, local races draw voters to polls for Md. primary

Turnout disappointing, according to one polling official

April 03, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • James Monore of Ringgold eats a sandwich while his mom, Barbie Barvir, casts her vote at the Ringgold Ruritan Building on Tuesday.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

The chance to make their voices heard in state, congressional and Hagerstown races drew Washington County voters to the polls Tuesday for Maryland’s primary elections.

Voters began trickling into polling places when the polls opened at 7 a.m., and their numbers increased as balloting continued through the morning and early afternoon.

The polls closed at 8 p.m.

At Precinct 06-1, at Boonsboro High School, Howard Boyer, 70, cast his ballot in the Democratic primary.

“Democrats are more for the working man,” he said. “We need to elect some people who will be favorable to labor.”

Boyer said that he supports state Sen. Rob Garagiola for the 6th Congressional District seat, and Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin and President Obama in their re-election bids.

“I thinks Obama’s doing a good job and turning the country around,” he said.
Boyer said he votes in any election he can.

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“It’s one of the few freedoms we have left,” he said.

Susan Riddle, 61, of Boonsboro said she voted in the Republican primary at Precinct 06-2 at Boonsboro Middle School.

“We need new leadership across the board,” Riddle said. “Voting shows support for your nation.”

Riddle said that getting Obama out of office was important to her, and she thought the presidential election was the most important.

“He’s not doing anything,” she said. “He’s just a lame duck.”

Riddle said she supported Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for president.

“Romney seems to be strong, and he’ll stand up for the people,” she said. “I also think he would be honest.”

By 8:20 a.m., 12 people had voted at Precinct 3-1 at Potomac Towers at 11 W. Baltimore St. in Hagerstown, according to Renee Mackey, chief judge of that precinct.

One of those early voters was James Ruck, 47, of Hagerstown, who said he voted in the Democratic primary.

“I’ve been voting since I could because of my parents,” he said. “I always vote Democrat.”

Ruck said he was most interested in the elections at the national level. He said that he voted for John Delaney for the 6th District and will support President Obama for re-election in November.

Ruck said he thinks it’s important for people to vote.

“People should be out voting because every vote counts,” he said. “My dad voted Democrat, and I vote Democrat because I think Democrats are for the poor people, and Republicans are for the rich people.”

Hagerstown resident Yvonne Geary voted in the Republican primary at Precinct 21-2 at North Hagerstown High School.

“Republicans are more thinkers,” she said. “We have a great country here, and I want the Republicans to bring it back from the edge.”

Geary said she supports Romney for the presidency.

 “He might be the most honest one we’ve got,” she said. “He seems to be trying to get our country back together.

“It's a very important vote today,” Geary said. “This country needs leverage where we can move around and get back on track.”

One of those voting at Precinct 09-0 at the Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Co. Activity Center at 21140 Leitersburg Pike was John Griffith, 84, of Hagerstown, who voted in the Republican primary.

“I want to see a change in our current government,” he said. “I’m unhappy with our president.”

But Griffith said he supports Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in his 6th District re-election bid.

“He’s been good for the last 20 years, and he can handle it again,” he said. “He’s the only thing I have in Washington where I can ask for anything.”

Griffith said he supports Romney in the presidential race.

In Washington County, the ballot included nominees for president, the 6th District U.S. House seat, one

U.S. Senate seat from Maryland and delegates to the Republican and Democratic party conventions.

Hagerstown voters also were choosing nominees for mayor and city council.

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