As of 4 p.m., a little more than 4,400 voters had cast ballots in Frederick’s general election Tuesday.
City Legislative Clerk Phyllis Hane said 2,505 Democrats, 1,343 Republicans and 613 other voters exercised their rights for a total 4,461. The total is 10.6 percent of the city’s total number of registered voters.
Hane also corrected an earlier report, in which the city reported that 10 percent of registered voters had cast ballots as of noon. She said the numbers were calculated wrong. The percentage at that time was 6.28 percent. At 2 p.m., the total was 3,553, or 8.45 percent, for the day.
Together with early voting, which was held Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, the latest total shows 14.72 percent of the city’s registered voters have cast ballots so far for the general election.
Frederick County Election Director Stuart Harvey said about 77 percent of the 317 absentee ballots that officials sent out have been returned as well. Officials will count the results of the absentee ballots at the election canvass, which begins at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The William R. Talley Recreation Center, which hosts voters from two precincts, is typically the most popular of the city’s seven polling places, Harvey said.
The line of voters who came through the heavy wooden doors to cast ballots at the center Tuesday was steady, with voting times ranging between 10 and 15 minutes.
Amy Dexter and her 5-year-old daughter, Norah, paused in the foyer of the center to take a selfie with their “I Voted’ stickers to commemorate the occasion before stepping back outside.
Dexter, a registered independent, said she votes in every election and usually brings both Norah and Norah’s 13-year-old sister, Olivia, to the polls to teach them the importance of voting.
“It’s incredibly important that Americans have the freedom to vote and elect our officials, and we need to exercise that right every time we get the chance,” Dexter said. “It’s something you do, just like paying your taxes.”
Theresa T. Michel, a registered Republican who lives downtown, said she also votes in every election.
“I think voting is a critical right for citizens in this country and in our community,” she said. “If you don’t vote, you lose your standing.”
Michel also said she was shocked that so few people came out to vote in the primary. The turnout was the lowest in recent memory at just 13.84 percent.
Colin Doll, a registered Republican who lives just outside downtown, also voted Tuesday at the Talley Rec Center. He said this was his first time voting in a city election, as he moved into the city just two years ago.
“I think it’s our duty as citizens to vote,” he said.
Husband and wife Raymond and Susan Mangold said they think voting is a privilege and also vote in every election.
The polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday, and will remain open until 8 p.m. All registered voters are eligible to cast ballots for mayor and Board of Aldermen.
Harvey and Hane said things have been running smoothly for the most part Tuesday. They said the biggest concern was with some voters who showed up at the Frederick Senior Center to vote. The senior center was the polling place for early voting. Although it was not a polling place on Election Day, Harvey said some voters have shown up there, confused.
He said the employees at the senior center have been helping people who have shown up there find their polling places. Anyone who is unsure of where they are supposed to vote can visit the online polling place locator at http://spires2.cityoffrederick.com/cof/voteLocationSearch.html, or call the county Board of Elections at 301-600-8683.
The ballot lists two mayoral candidates — Republican Mayor Randy McClement and Democratic Alderman Michael O’Connor — and 10 aldermanic candidates. The aldermen candidates, listed alphabetically on the ballot, are Republicans Katie Bowersox, Bryan Chaney, Hayden Duke, Alan Imhoff and Nate Power; and Democrats Donna Kuzemchak, Ben MacShane, Kelly Russell, Derek Shackelford and Roger Wilson. Since Kuzemchak and Russell are the only two aldermanic incumbents running for re-election, at least three new faces will join the board regardless of Tuesday’s results.
Shelley Aloi, who lost to McClement in the Republican primary, has also been running an aggressive write-in campaign for mayor.
*This story has been updated and corrected with accurate percentage of 6.28 percent at noon. Election officials said they miscalculated the percentage.*