Extra voting machines were added at some Maryland early voting sites to help with long lines, but many residents still waited hours to cast their votes Friday.
Dedicated voters in Prince George’s County were put to the test during early voting with lines that stretched outside of polling places and sometimes down the street. Jeronn Russell told News4 she waited four hours to vote.
“If we are having three- and four-hour waits during the early vote period, what does that translate to on Nov. 6?” Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee Terry Speigner asked.
He’s worried that some voters may get frustrated, leave and not go back to vote.
“I don’t think the Board of Elections was prepared for the amount of people that are coming out for the early vote,” he said.
An estimated 56,000 people had voted in Prince George’s County by Friday evening. That’s 10 percent of those registered, so the thought of what’s coming on Election Day has some worried.
“The facilities that we are using don’t have the capacity that we need to really conduct early voting,” Prince George’s County Elections Administrator Alisha Alexander said.
She said the state’s formula for voting machines during early voting coupled with limited space resulted in longer lines, but don’t expect the same thing for Election Day. There may be a wait, but with more polling places and machines, it shouldn’t be as long.
“Early voting is an important part of the process, but we’re also looking at and have to make sure that we have enough units for the Nov. 6 Election Day where the majority of the voters will come out to vote,” she said.
“I hope and pray that it won’t be as bad,” Speigner said. “My hope and prayer is that we can get folks on Nov. 6 down to no more than an hour, hour-and-a-half tops.”