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Low Turnout As Early Voting For Md. Primary Election Closes

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — These are the last hours of early voting for the Maryland primary election. For the past seven days, voters have been casting ballots for the June 24 election.

Pat Warren takes a look at the turnout so far.

Voters in each party are choosing their candidates for the November ballot. The numbers are low, but it’s not clear exactly why.

WJZ found voters excited to vote early, but less enthusiastic about the actual election.

Reporter: “Has it generated much interest for you?”

Early Voter: “Not a lot, I have to admit.”

Early voting numbers have about 83,000 Democrats, a tinge over four percent, casting ballots. Registered Republicans numbered 27,000 by Wednesday–less than three percent. Why is that, you wonder?

Analyst Matthew Crenson says the candidates themselves played a part.

“Frankly, this has been a pretty boring election,” said Crenson.

There is a three-way race for governor in the Democratic primary. The leader is Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. In the Republican primary, Larry Hogan is polling ahead of three other candidates.

“That’s one thing that tends to turn voters off, when they think the outcome is already determined. Why should they bother to go to the polls?” Crenson said.

Interested voters tell WJZ they’ve had to work for it.

“I have been very interested to try to find out who all these people were. And I did my best to do that. And I hope I voted the right people,” said Elizabeth Coxe, early voter.

Others say they haven’t talked about it much.

“I can’t really answer that in the affirmative. I wish there were more interest by some of the younger people,” said Buddy Bohager, early voter.

And of course, primaries are known for low turnout.

“They’re waiting until the actual election to see who the candidates are going to be. Then they’re going to do their research,” said Tracy Jones, early voter.

Early voting centers close at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Remember: Tuesday is primary Election Day. Candidates are already revved up to get out the vote, making stops all over the state.

To put it in perspective, not counting Thursday, about 110,000 voters have used early voting out of an eligible pool of 3.4 million.

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