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Voter Turnout For General Election Even Lower Than Primary

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday in Baltimore’s General Election. City residents are deciding on their leadership for the next four years. 

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on voter turnout.

The Democratic primary thins the herd in the Baltimore City mayor’s race. Out of a field of five, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was the clear winner. Maybe too clear.  Early numbers indicate Baltimore City’s General Election was dead on arrival.

“In my exercise class my instructor was asking, ‘I said I had to leave here after a while and go vote.’ She said ‘Well, why you gonna go vote? We voted several months ago.’ I said that was the preliminary and this is the general, and she said ‘I didn’t know anything about that,’” said Murial Lindsay-Hughes, voter.

WJZ spoke to Stephanie Rawlings-Blake about the low turnout.

“So many people like to complain,” she said. “But then you ask them if they actually participate, and that’s a different story.”

Some voters who did cast ballots Tuesday were surprised to see how few of them, as in voters,  there were.

“They feel like everything’s already set, the persons that are already in are going to be in, there’s nothing they can do to about it. When we had the primary there was a little activity but nowhere near the activity we should have,” said Dale Webb, voter.

But even low turnout is better than no turnout in the view of dedicated citizens, those who wouldn’t think of missing a chance to have their voices heard, those who want to set an example for their children.

One voter said she is disappointed in the turnout in general.

“Because I feel this is the right of the American people, and it’s a time to be able to express how we feel about things,” she said. “And if you don’t take advantage of it then you can’t complain about it.”

But some voters were also wondering why they didn’t see more candidates at the polling places either.

“I think we have to pray for the best. The way that our country is now we need our candidates not just to have a job but to do their job,” one voter said.

Elections officials predicted a turnout of 10-12 percent.

More from Pat Warren
  • sheriff

    An absolute disgrace 1% as of mid day. This beleaurged city is done. Devoid of leadership & the current sitting mayor Blake will be celebrating at a Mexican restaurant tonight. No doubt Casa De Maryland & the illegals will be helping out the mayor. Disgusting, it’s all about the numbers & dollars. Why bother to even have an election, it’s sooooo corrupt.

  • adraine

    Sheriff you are so right this is political bull@#% it is so set up from the get go.

  • mdesquire

    I find 13% voter turnout for the primary election and 1% in the general election incredibly sad. I did my civic duty today and voted. There was no one at my polling place even campaigning at 8:30am. Everyone likes to complain about CIty problems, but no one wants to do much to change leadership in the City.

  • frank coffee

    Last one out of the city,please turn out lights. Oh wait,BGE already did,for non payment !

  • To Tired to fight anymore

    If I could move back to PA and make a living… What a shame. No pride, no desire, not enough care. What a shame…

  • aj

    Why bother when the citizens of Maryland and the city are democrat nose led. I can’t support them and the the Republican canidate(sp) is someone I don’t know. I gave up on the city in the last 5 years. Tired of trying when no one else cares but just follows. City is the pits and getting worse and the state has turned into an illegal immigrant state due to the current politicians (like Owe”malley). So I don’t want to hear I didn’t do my part when i did for the 26 years I lived here and nothing changed.

  • weareallbozosonthisbus

    People do not vote because the career politicians do not care. they have theirs Retirement, great health care, cushy jobs and when the citizens do show up to participate they are either ignored or labelled complainers“So many people like to complain,” she said. “But then you ask them if they actually participate, and that’s a different story

  • RavenLude

    lets just hope the turnout in every urban area across the country gets low turnouts come next november. if that happens maybe the worst president in history will not be re-elected simply because he is half black

  • B Curry

    I agree with “Too Tired to Fight Anymore,” and “AJ.” For over 20 years I’ve contacted the mayor’s office, including Mayor O’Malley when he was mayor, my city council members, including Mary Pat Clark, when she was council member of my district about 20 years ago, and I’ve also contacted city council presidents. I’ve contacted housing authorities and Commissioner Graziano.

    I’ve contacted all the aforementioned regarding the abandon and neglected properties, and the trash in my neighborhood. I’ve paid property taxes for all of those years and watched the neighborhood deteriorate more and more; despite all the correspondence I’ve sent all these people for over 20 years.

    The same properties I complained about over 20 years ago have been left to dilapidation, and since then, many others are in decline. The city wastes paper and manpower attaching notices to condemned and dilapidated properties for owners who are deceased or have moved out of the state and could not care less what happens to these properties that the city authorities pretend to be holding these owners financially responsible. If a house has been removed from a property due to abandonment, the city attaches notices dated 5 years ago or more to overgrown shrubbery and tree limbs growing onto the sidewalk.

    The city also falsifies the status of many of the properties in the city. They also falsify work orders that should have been addressed regarding abandoned and neglected properties. I know all of this because I’ve followed the trails of the reports and requests for services I’ve submitted for these properties over and over again.

    I’ve also contacted every hierarchy in the police district regarding the drug trafficking and resulting crime in my neighborhood to no avail. What does the city do? They establish Section 8 residents in a neighborhood that has declined because of their negligence and continue to “pretend” to address the problems through wasted paperwork and manpower. I won’t say that the police as a whole aren’t trying; I believe they aren’t given what they need by the Powers That Be.

    For the past 15 years, I’ve voted in every election except this year. I will not vote to put people back in office whom I know for a fact has been perpetrating the downfall of this city. And, I will not vote for those who have no knowledge or intention of helping the city.

    The entire city has become a dumping site. City authorities ignore it. If it doesn’t affect their neighborhood, they sleep well at night. They are not having streets cleaned, and they don’t do anything to stop the people who are throwing trash everywhere.

    I’m looking into withholding my property taxes until there are some real changes in my neighborhood. I’m tired of paying taxes that the city uses for the Inner Harbor and whatever else they want to use them for, when they should be used for street cleaning in my neighborhood, and to pay the amount of police officers they need to fight the drug trafficking in this area.

    No, I did not vote today. I saw no point to it. It would not change a thing.

  • Balto4930

    I voted, and I crossed party lines and voted republican. I at first thought – why don’t all the republicans show up and make a strong showing and oust SRB? But then I looked at the numbers- there really are not enough repubs registered in the city- (something like 32,000) to counter the dem vote even if they all showed up. So what is to be done? Are there more repubs that are just not registered? If so, why? Apathy? I never accept that as an excuse as I ihink it is just laziness- easier to blame someone else than to promote change. So do they need to put up a better and more well known candidate that might attract swing voters like me? I am just OK with SRb- I think she is honest, but rather uncreative and a mediocre leader- our bar is quite low in this city. But I would have liked to have seen a stronger repub candidate to make it a real election.

  • Sharon

    To RavenLude, you obviously are a racist any time you can state that President Obama is the worst president in history. What about the mess Bush Sr and Bush Jr created and next fixed. Oh…they are white so I guess that’s okay to put the American people in a bad situation. You expect the President to clean up the mess they made in 12 years when he’s only been around for three years. What do you have to say about that…stupid?

  • inmyopinion

    It doesn’t surprise me for such a low voter turnout. If you have been convicted of a felon you lose your fight to vote. That alone eliminates half of Baltimore’s population.

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