BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore voters are heading to the polls and casting their ballots for mayor in a crowded primary race.
Political reporter Pat Warren has been with the candidates all day.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake cast her ballot during early voting and spent primary day urging other voters to cast their ballots for her–including Governor Martin O’Malley, who is still a Baltimore resident.
“There’s no excuse for citizens not to come out to the polls here in Baltimore City,” O ‘Malley said. “It’s an important election.”
“For me and for any candidate it’s just making sure people come to the polls, and that’s what we’re knocking on doors and calling just to make sure everyone knows its Election Day and it matters about the future of our city,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Otis Rolley wants to be that future. He and his family arrived at Northwestern High School Tuesday morning. He and state Senator Catherine Pugh tied for second place among voters responding to a Baltimore Sun poll.
There were no other voters at the booths when Pugh voted at 9 a.m. There was only slightly more activity at Rolley’s polling place. But both candidates are looking forward to positive outcomes.
“I’m feeling good,” Rolley said. “I feel that by 8 o’clock we’ll be able to say that we did all that we can do.”
“I’m excited,” Pugh said. “It was wonderful. Machines were a little slow, but we got it done.”
Equally upbeat are candidates Frank Conaway and Jody Landers, who also continues to work the polls.
“We need people to participate in this election,” Landers said.
For Conaway, the race has already been run.
“I’ve done the work, so we have to wait for the results,” Conaway said.
And that’s the work of the voters–some of them skeptics.
“I don’t really care for none of them even though I voted for one of them,” said James Stokes. “To me it’s the same thing every year. You don’t hear nothing about these politicians until election time.”
Election Director Armstead B.C. Jones Sr. says about 15,300 people had cast ballots by noon, and total turnout could be about 20 percent.
All polling places opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.