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Marylanders were also voting on whether they want a Las Vegas-style casino in Prince George’s County, as well as table games — such as black jack and roulette — at the state’s five previously authorized slots casinos.
The fourth major ballot measure: whether to preserve the state’s newly redrawn Congressional map, which was designed partly to unseat longtime Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Frederick).
As people starting heading to the polls after work Tuesday evening, some found long lines to vote on weighty ballot measures in a Presidential election year. All day, from the time the polls opened at 7 a.m. through the chilly mid-day, elections officials across the state said that voting proceeded smoothly, but required patience.
Daneen Banks, a spokeswoman for Prince George’s County Board of Elections, said that the longest wait in the county was an hour, as people headed to work in the morning. As of 3 p.m. county officials reported that nearly 194,000 voters had cast ballots, or 35 percent of registered voters. Another 12 percent participated in early voting last week.
In Montgomery County, election officials said the wait was about 30 minutes during peak hours at most polling sites. In Germantown and Bethesda, the waits were about 90 minutes, according to Margie Roher, a spokeswoman for the county elections board.
At Bethesda’s Westbrook elementary school, for instance, it took a full hour to vote in the late morning, as opposed to previous elections when people have rarely been forced to wait for more than 10 minutes. Elections officials attributed the long waits to the lengthy ballots.
Marlene Shaffer, a 73-year-old Potomac resident, said one of the main reasons she came to vote Tuesday was to uphold same-sex marriage.
“I think it’s fair,” she said at the Potomac Community Center. “It’s not discriminatory.”
Salvatore Zagarella, a 34-year-old North Potomac resident, said he felt like he wanted to be on the right side of history. “If you vote no, you’re going to be wrong in 50 years,” he said, as he walked out of his polling site, Shady Grove Conference Center.
At Northwest High School in Germantown, Chang Wang, 42-year-old software engineer, said he supported allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition. “I think we should give them a chance,” Wang said. “If they follow the law and do everything right, that is the right thing to do.”
But Wang did not vote for gay marriage. “For me, no. Sorry,” he said. He doesn’t think the word marriage should apply to gay unions, though he supports civil unions and other efforts.