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Low Turnout in Charles County for 2012 Primary
Waldorf, MD - 4/3/2012
By Andy Marquis
Charles County voters are not driving to the polls in large numbers for Tuesday’s primary election. As of 12pm EST, only 3,600 votes had been cast in Charles County and many of the precincts have been eerily quiet.
“Turnout is extraordinarily low,” Election Director Tracy Dickerson from the Charles County Board of Elections said. “As of 12pm, we have had 3,600 votes.”
There are 91,736 active registered voters in Charles County. Of those, 52,294 are Democrats, 24,789 are Republicans, 14,319 are Independent/unaffiliated voters, 135 are Green Party registered voters and 199 are Libertarians.
“Very low turnout today,” Chief Election Judge Lane Coyle said at the precinct at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School in Waldorf. “Worst I’ve seen many years. I’ve been doing this since 1984. It could be because it’s Spring break or because it would be mostly Republicans voting because that’s the largest chart of candidates. It’s just really slow.”
One election official at the Stoddert precinct said more Democrats were voting than Republicans, even though the sitting Democrat incumbents on the ballot face no serious challengers. Congressman Steny Hoyer (D: MD-5th) is being challenged by Cathy Johnson Pendleton who is running against Hoyer from the left. United States Senator Ben Cardin (D: MD) faces a challenge from the left from State Senator Anthony Muse (D: 26th district). That ballot also boasts several longshot candidates.
Republican candidate and Maryland Delegate Tony O’Donnell (R: 29C, Calvert and St. Mary’s) is expected to win the Republican Primary for the Maryland 5th Congressional District where he would likely face the incumbent Hoyer in the November general election. Republican candidates Glenn Morton and David Hill are also on the ballot in that race. The race to be the Republican challenger to Cardin has 10 candidates: Joseph Alexander, Daniel John Bongino, Robert “BRO” Broadus, William Thomas Capps, Richard Douglas, Rick Hoover, David Jones, John Kimble, Brian Vaeth and Corrogan Vaughn.
For President, Republicans have a long list to choose from as the race for the Republican nomination could be a done deal by the end of the night if former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) wins both Maryland and its 37 delegates and the battleground state of Wisconsin and its 42 delegates. While Romney is not expected to reach the 1,144 delegates threshold, things would not be able to add up Romney’s main challenger, former United States Senator Rick Santorum (R: Pennsylvania).
Romney and Santorum are also challenged on the Republican ballot by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R: Georgia) Congressman Ron Paul (R: Texas), Fred Krager and former Congressman Buddy Roemer (R: Louisiana – 4th). Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman are also on the ballot but both have dropped out of the race.
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