BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Tens of thousands of Marylanders have cast their ballots in advance of next week’s presidential primary election.
Political reporter Pat Warren looks at the interest this race is generating.
No one knows the importance of a vote more than the people who rely on them.
Governor Martin O’Malley is one of the many Marylanders who cast ballots on this last day of early voting, and although he’s not up for election this year, he’s encouraging all eligible voters to go to the polls.
“We’re all in this together,” O’Malley said. “And while some might say, ‘Well, not every election is as important as another election.’ The truth is, every election is important. Each of us needs to come out and vote. And now with early voting, you can do it very, very easily.”
Voter: “I need my man up in there.”
Warren: “That man being?”
Voter: “Obama. President Obama, not just Obama. Give him his title. He earned it.”
Because President Barack Obama is running unopposed, there may be less interest in the primary among Democrats. But Republican presidential candidates making efforts to woo the 37 delegates Maryland represents got voters to the polls early.
“Whether it’s Romney or Santorum or Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich, we have four people and that’s a lot to choose from,” Sharon Stewart said.
“I just think the overall political and economic situation puts a lot more pressure. You gotta get out and vote to make the changes that I think we need,” Walter Stewart said.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul appeared at a town hall meeting in College Park Wednesday night.
On Tuesday, Newt Gingrich made stops in Annapolis and Salisbury. Mitt Romney, whose Maryland campaign is led by former Governor Bob Ehrlich, visited Arbutus last week.
By Thursday afternoon, nearly 60,000 Marylanders had cast early ballots. The polls were open until 8 p.m. Thursday.
Primary election day is Tuesday, April 3.