Reporting Mary Bubala
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The polls opened Thursday for early voting in Baltimore City. That means registered Democrats started casting ballots at 10 a.m. for the mayoral primary.
Mary Bubala has more.
“There was no waiting. Just go in, vote and you’re out,” said Lesa Collington, early voter.
It’s a six-day early voting period, and Baltimore City residents tuned into the mayoral race showed up early to cast their ballots.
“It feels good to me because I am disabled and it’s very convenient for me,” said Ernest Royal, voter.
“I am going to call some people today and remind them this is the first day of early voting,” said Jenny Patterson.
State union leaders are big advocates of early voting, saying it gives working families the flexibility to get their vote counted.
“It gives them all an opportunity because they work different shifts, have other obligations and community obligations,” said Glen Middleton, AFSCME union leader.
There are five locations for early voting, including the Public Safety Training Center off Northern Parkway.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake cast her ballot as campaign workers for the other candidates, like Catherine Pugh, Otis Rolley and Jody Landers, handed out campaign materials.
“You saw me. It took about five minutes. It’s very easy. Early voting is set up for convenience, so we can make sure as many people vote, so hopefully people will take advantage of it,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Early voting last year for the gubernatorial primary was just 7 percent of the registered voters in the city.
Election officials are hoping to hit double digits this time around and say ballots cast early are counted on primary day.
“All machines are taken to our warehouse and placed in a secure room and then on the day of the primary election, Sept. 13, they will download and remove memory cards and start to read them and results won’t be released until after 8,” said Armstead Jones, Baltimore City election director.
Early voting locations open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. For a full listing of the early voting locations and dates, click here.