Updated: (12 a.m.)
By midnight, it was clear that several Howard County Board of Education (BOE) candidates would make it to the next hurdle, but some tallies were too close to call in a primary in which the six top vote-getters compete in November.
Former BOE chair Janet Siddiqui led the pack of 15 candidates with 39.4 percent of the vote according to data from the Howard County Board of Elections. Ann De Lacy was in second place with 28.64 percent of the vote. Following in order were:
- Ellen Giles with 25.46 percent
- Jackie Scott with 25.2 percent
- David Gertler with 24.47 percent
- Patricia Gordon with 20.1 percent
- Bob Ballinger with 19.8 percent
- Allen Dyer with 16.84 percent
- Leslie Kornreich with 12.31 percent
- Olga Butler with 11.69 percent
- Mary Jo Neil with 11.34 percent
- Jim Adams with 11.14 percent
- Corey Andrews with 10.51 percent
- Owen Hanratty with 6.68 percent
- Kelly Casey Van Horn with 4.91 percent
The candidates are running for six spots in November’s General Election.
Earlier in the day, officials, voters and campaigners noted a seemingly low turnout for the primaries.
At the Laurel Boys and Girls Club, election judges said the turnout had been slow but steady throughout the day. Shortly before 2 p.m., the voter tally stood at 150 people.
“Some people said they didn’t even know it was the primary,” said Chief Election Judge Gabrielle Araiza.
Others cited limited knowledge about candidates, primarily in the BOE race.
“It’s slow,” said Bobbi Johnson, handing out flyers on behalf of Circuit Court hopeful Clarke Ahlers outside Elkridge Landing and Elkridge Elementary.
Polling places for two districts are situated there, but Johnson said only about 200 voters total had turned out by 2 p.m.
“Most people came to vote for one or two people,” said her fellow Ahlers volunteer, a man who asked not to be identified.
He said some people had been outside Elkridge Landing that morning campaigning for school board candidates Ellen Flynn Giles and Janet Siddiqui.
“Other than that, I don’t know them,” he said of the other school board candidates.
Outside of the Ellicott City Senior Center, Gary Schlee said that, aside from Mitt Romney, "I don't hardly know anything about these people," though Gina Schlee said she was interested in the Circuit Court judgeship. "We like [Judge Lenore] Gelfman, too," she said.
By about 11:30 p.m., with 83 percent of all precincts tallied, total votes cast in Howard County were about 29,000.
In the last presidential primary election, in 2008, about 70,000 Howard County voters went to the polls according to the Howard County Board of Elections.
Elsewhere in Howard County, Rep. Elijah Cummings had a large lead in the Democratic primary for U.S. House of Representatives in the 7th District with 94.5 percent of the vote. Charles U. Smith and Ty Glen Busch are both running against Cummings.
Frank C. Mirabile leads with 71.4 percent of the votes in the 7th Distirict Republican primary. He is running against M. Justin Kinsey.
At 11 p.m., Romney led Rick Santorum 91,402 (48 percent) to 57,299 (30 percent) with 1,281 of 1,851 precincts reporting.
With reporting by Patch editors Joshua Garner, Elizabeth Janney and Bryan P. Sears.
This article has been edited to indicate Janet Siddiqui is the former chair of the BOE and Elijah Cummings running in U.S. House primary.