Voter Turnout Low in Primary's Early Hours
Voter: 'People are turned off.'
The numbers posted outside the entrance to the polling place at Earle B. Wood Middle School in Rockville early Tuesday afternoon told the tale heard across the region: Turnout is low at polling places through the morning hours of this primary election day.
Between the opening of polls at 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., the precinct reported ballots cast by 45 of the precinct's 1,136 registered Democrats, 21 of 548 registered Republicans and two "other" voters.
Inside, six voters were outnumbered by election judges and poll watchers.
Outside, a table with campaign literature for U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) of Pikesville sat unattended. No one greeted voters. Only a few campaign signs lined the sidewalks.
“People are just turned off,” said a 79-year-old Rockville resident who declined to give her name, but said that she is a longtime registered Democrat who is angry with the state’s Democratic Party over recent congressional redistricting.
“I have no idea who [the candidates] are,” she said. “I’ve never heard of these people.”
Speaking on WTOP radio, Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said that turnout is typically “tiny” for primaries and that primary turnout means little for turnout in the general election.
Polls remain open until 8 p.m.