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Early voting a 'true hit' this election; numbers surpass 2014 totals with 3 days left

Posted at 3:11 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 18:25:25-04

Thousands of Marylanders have already made their way to the polls to cast their vote. In Baltimore City alone, over 25,000 people have voted in 5 days. 

"Early voting has been a true hit this time," Armstead Jones, Baltimore City election director, said. 

"It's the most important thing we have to do as citizens," early voter Eleanor Marder said. 

In just the first 5 days, 369,000 people have voted early. That's already higher than the unofficial early voting total for the last gubernatorial election in 2014. It's also on track to beat early voter turn out for the 2012 presidential election. 

Some, like Marder, are very seasoned voters. She has only missed one election since she could vote legally. 

"I wanted to make sure I voted. I think old people have a responsibility and young people do too, especially now," Marder said. 

For others, like Stephanie Smith's daughter, it was their first time. 

"It’s a special feeling. You just feel like you’re contributing something by passing the torch on and I feel proud that she’s educated enough and savvy enough to know what to do and want to come and vote," Smith said. 

"I just wanted to make sure I got mine in early just to avoid the last-minute rush," early voter Joseph Edmonds said. 

Edmonds also came out today because he will be a little busy on election day, serving as an election judge for the first time. 

"Nationally, I’ve been hearing issues about voter polls being a problem and access to polls and proper integrity at the election, and so I just wanted to be a part of that process to ensure that everyone who does show up gets the opportunity to vote," Edmonds said. 

Baltimore City election officials are still looking for around 400 people to sign up to be election judges
"They could be checking in voters. They could be assisting voters in the booth. They could be at the door escorting," Jones said. "The way the process is set up, without them, there is no election day."

In an effort to get even more people out to vote, the Baltimore Chapter of The Links is hosting 2 nonpartisan 'Party at the Polls' events. The first is Tuesday from 3-6 p.m. at Mount Pleasant Ministries. The second is Thursday at The League for People with Disabilities. November 1 is the last day to vote early at select polling places from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the election is Tuesday.