Early voting for the Nov. 6 general election resumes today in Maryland, with long lines reported at many locations around the state, including one location in Prince George's County.
Less than an hour after it opened, the line stretched out of the County's Sports & Learning Center in Landover, with the small parking lot filled and authorities directing cars to lots at adjacent FedEx Field.
Early voting was cancelled the previous two days because of Hurricane Sandy, and to make up the lost time, the state directed early voting locations to be open an additional three hours until 9 p.m. the next three days. Prince George's County executive Rushern Baker thinks the extra day — early voting was supposed to end tomorrow — and the extra hours will prevent any dropoff in voter turnout.
"Certainly there are some important issues going on, some we want to
see passed," says Baker. "So we are encouraging everybody to come out and vote."
Prince George's County is a key battleground for two of the statewide ballot questions facing voters. There's Question 7, which if approved, would allow for a casino in the county. Also big is Question 6, whether or not to approve same-sex marriage, with ads from both sides heavily targeting the county's large African-American population.
O'Malley is also extending the state's deadline for absentee ballot applications until tonight at 8 p.m. for the forms delivered or sent by U.S. mail, with a midnight cutoff for applications sent by email or fax.