PASADENA, Md. — Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous stepped out of black SUV in front of his polling precinct at Lake Shore Elementary in Anne Arundel County, ready to vote Tuesday.
The former NAACP president and Democratic challenger brought along three people to help him cast his ballot on Election Day: his two children, Morgan and Jack, and nephew, Jaden Parrish.
“It’s quite something to be on the ballot for governor and have your 6-year-old boy and your 13-year-old daughter voting with you,” Jealous said outside the school. “We hope that folks come out despite the rain to vote. This is our first, big chance to send a real message to [President] Donald Trump that we intend to depart from his values.”
Jealous joined thousands of Marylanders who cast their ballots for a gubernatorial race seen as one of the most highly anticipated nationwide. If elected, he would become the first Black ever to lead the state, while incumbent Larry Hogan would become the first Republican in 64 years to win a second term as Maryland governor.
Hogan voted alongside more than 661,000 other Marylanders who cast ballots during early voting, a 116 percent increase from four years ago when 307,650 people voted early, according to the state Board of Elections.
Katrina Richardson of Pasadena said she voted Tuesday for a few Republicans but did choose Jealous.
“I just like what he stands for,” said Richardson, a federal employee. “I think [Jealous] would be a good change for Maryland.”
Besides the governor’s race, voters will choose two statewide ballot questions to amend the constitution to ensure casino revenue from the state’s six casinos supplements public education. The other voter referendum seeks whether to allow voters to register and vote on the same day.
Meanwhile in Prince George’s County, nearly 470 people voted at Clinton United Methodist Church in Brandywine. Voters in that southern part of the county will choose between County Council candidates Sydney Harrison, clerk of the circuit court who won the Democratic nomination in the June primary, or attorney Tamara Davis Brown, a write-in candidate who lost to Harrison in the primary by 55 votes.
In addition, a school board race between incumbent Sonya Williams and social studies teacher Arun Puracken also will be closely watched.
Deborah Mitchell, who’s lived in Brandywine for 34 years, said she voted for Jealous, Brown and Williams.
“We need better schools and better roads,” Mitchell said. “In Brandywine, Oxon Hill and Fort Washington, all the roads in that area need to be repaired. Improve the schools there and [hire] more teachers.”
Polls will remain open until 8 p.m. To find a particular polling station and where to vote in Prince George’s County, go to https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch.