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A Slow Morning at the Polls

Campaign volunteers, voters and election judges report a low turnout so far in the Baltimore City mayoral primaries.

Lynwood Wimbish, 87, stood in the parking lot of Guilford Elementary/Middle School trying to beat the late morning heat Tuesday.

Wimbish would have been handing out campaign material for Councilman Bill Henry, but there were few voters to give the paraphernalia. He said he’s worked at polls near his Wilson Park home for 20 years, but couldn’t remember turnout being so low.

“It’s never been like this before,” Wimbish said.

There are two precincts located inside Guilford Elementary/Middle School. By about 9:40 a.m., each precinct reported 27 voters had cast ballots. In the last mayoral Democratic primary, 407 voters cast ballots for the mayor.

At Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School, volunteers electioneering for City Council candidates in District 12 also said voting had been slow.

Bonnie Bessor, who was volunteering for Odette Ramos, and Ralph Moore, who was volunteering for Councilman Carl Stokes, said the level of voter activity at Margaret Brent Elementary couldn’t even be described as a steady trickle.

At about 9:10 a.m., judges at the polls there had reported 42 voters had cast ballots. In that precinct in 2007, 241 voters cast ballots for mayor in the Democratic primary.

A.J. O’Brien, of Tuscany-Canterbury, worked the polls outside of First English Lutheran Church wearing a Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke T-shirt and straw hat, even though Clarke doesn’t have a primary opponent. O’Brien also said that it had been slow at the polls throughout the morning.  

The voters that were at polling places said their primary reason for voting is a sense of civic duty.

Evelyn Krohn, a Tuscany-Canterbury resident, said she voted because it gave her a pleasure to be able to cast her ballot.

“I think [Mayor] Stephanie [Rawlings-Blake] deserves another term,” Krohn said.

Richard Hubbard, who lives near York Road, said a sense of civic duty also compelled him to vote. He said he cast his ballot at Guilford Elementary because he was looking for something “fresh.”  

“There’s always need for change in something,” Hubbard said. 

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