Reporting Pat Warren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City voters go to the polls Tuesday to elect top city officials.
Political reporter Pat Warren reports voter turnout is expected to be light.
Suppose you held an election and nobody came.
“For some reason, the citizens are not exercising that right to vote,” said Board of Elections Director Armstead Jones.
Jones predicts a turnout of less than 15 percent.
“I would say 10 to 12 percent, which is very bad and very low,” Jones said.
The three citywide races—for mayor, council president and comptroller—were most likely decided in the September primary, though only the comptroller is running unopposed.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has a Republican challenger, Alfred Griffin, who has campaigned on YouTube.
“Thirty-thousand residents and 53,000 jobs have left Baltimore since 2000. To become an economic success again, Baltimore needs a new way forward,” Griffin said.
WJZ was unable to reach Griffin for an interview Monday.
Rawlings-Blake is ready for Tuesday.
“It feels like it’s been a long time coming. We’ve been sending out mailers and encouraging people to vote,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Voter turnout could prove critical in the 7th district, where incumbent Belinda Conaway is running a write-in campaign after losing the primary to newcomer Nick Mosby and 13th district Councilman Warren Branch is challenged by write-in newcomer Shannon Sneed.
But voter apathy could rule the day.
“And of course the primary was very low, as well. We only had 23.2 percent of the folk to come out and vote,” Jones said.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Results of the write-in campaigns won’t be released until later this week.