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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 09/ 3/2010

Early voting begins in Maryland

By Washington Post editors

Maryland’s experiment with early voting started with a trickle in Montgomery and Prince George's counties Friday.

By 1 p.m., 124 Montgomery County voters had cast ballots at the Silver Spring civic building, one of 5 early-voting locations in the county. The sites will be open every day through Thursday, except Sunday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

State and local candidates are trying to capture the attention of busy voters, and those who came out Friday were among the most committed.

Nancy Gaynor, a retired sales manager from Bethesda, will be in Laguna Beach seeing her son on the day of the Sept. 14 primary.

“I get back between four and five, but you can’t count on that,” Gaynor said. The registered Democrat said she split her local ballot between current members of the county council and newcomers. “I’m not at all anti-incumbent. I choose who I think is doing a good job.”

Montgomery electoral board member Nancy Dacek said officials are hoping for a bigger day Saturday. The scant turnout has an upside: “You can walk in and you’re done in three minutes and you’re out,” she said. “If you don’t vote, don’t tell us you didn’t like the people who were elected.”

In Prince George’s, the first day of early voting at the Wayne K. Curry Sports and Learning Center was a bit slow, with voters outnumbered by politicians and their surrogates campaigning on the road leading to the center on Sheriff Road. By noon, 180 seniors and others had cast their ballots.

Democrats will select new leadership for the county. Because of term limits, they will chose a new county executive to succeed Jack B. Johnson, at least five new members on the county council as well as a new sheriff and a new top prosecutor.

A list of early voting sites can be found here

Michael Laris and Hamil Harris

By Washington Post editors  | September 3, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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