- TRAFFIC ALERT: I-64 bridge projects could impact your summer travel
- Middle school student's app bought by Henrico Schools
- Traffic Alert: Crash with injuries in Chesterfield
- Gov. McAuliffe signs tougher childcare law with support from parents
- Chesterfield community rallies around Marine widow
- Richmond City Council, school board create task force
- Illinois couple welcomes their 100th grandchild
- Vermont's Sanders kicks off 2016 bid from Clinton's left
- D.C. residents hold rally to protest 'pop-up' houses
- With rural Japan shrinking and aging, a small town seeks to stem the trend
Md. Officials Work To Increase Voter Turnout
More from Baltimore
Reporting Derek Valcourt
Filed underLocal, News, Politics, Syndicated Local
Related tagsEarly Voting, election, Election 2012, voter turnout, Voting
Popular Entertainment Photo Galleries
Car Snapped: Celebrities Caught On The Go
Notable Deaths Of 2012
All-Time Father-Son Celebrity Duos
25 Downs: NFL Injuries Over The Years
» More Photo Galleries
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the last-minute campaigning continues, so does the last-minute effort to get Maryland voters to the polls. Derek Valcourt has more on the effort to drive up voter turnout.
Four years ago, the race for president drove Maryland voters to the polls. This year, it’s the ballot questions.
If long lines for early voting in Maryland are any indication, interest in this year’s election runs high.
“Because we really want Barack to win and I’m out here voting for him,” said one early voter.
In all, more than 430,000 early ballots were cast last week—that’s 11% of the state’s total registered voters. But UMBC public policy professor Donald Norris predicts voter turnout won’t be as high as four years ago.
“That prediction could be upset and turned on its heals by the fact that we’ve got ballot questions that people are very, very invested in,” Norris said.
Specifically the Dream Act, expanded gambling and same-sex marriage conjure up passionate feelings in many voters. Voter turnout could make a huge difference in some of the closely contested ballot initiatives where victory or defeat could hinge on just a few votes.
“It’s going to be close,” said Ezekial Jackson, Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “We’re not taking anything for granted.”
That’s why the campaigns to support or stop each of the ballot initiatives have huge “get out the vote” efforts. They’re calling voters and dispatching armies of volunteers to polling places.
“In a situation where the election is very close, who gets the most of their supporters to the polls will, in almost every case, result in a decision favorable to that side,” Norris said.
Maryland has had pretty high turnout in past presidential elections. In 2008, 77% of Marylanders voted.
The Census Bureau ranks Maryland 27th in the nation when it comes to voter turnout.