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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Early Vote Provides Win for Young

George Wenschhof

The 2010 election was the first in the state of Maryland for early voting and Democrat Ron Young was one candidate who benefited from the early turnout of voters.

Ron Young is leading incumbent state senator Republican Alex Mooney (district 3) by 665 votes with absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted. Although, the winner has not been certified by the state, I called the race for Ron Young on election night.

The reason I called the race is Mr. Young had built a 878 vote lead in Frederick County (there is a very small sliver of Washington County in district 3) at the conclusion of the early voting period and after an additional 37,991 votes were cast on election day, Young still had a lead of 665 votes .

The total votes early votes were 4,076 with Young receiving 2,477 and Mooney receiving 1,599.

On election day, (including 576 votes cast in Washington County), there were a total of 37,991 votes cast with Mooney receiving 19,107 and Young receiving 18,884. So, on election day, Mooney won by 223 votes.

After 37,991 additional votes had been cast, Mooney was only able to reduce the early voting Young lead from 878 to 665.

On election night, I had estimated there would not be more than 3,000 total absentee and provisional ballots remaining to be counted, making it statistically difficult, in a closely contested race, for Mooney to gain the 665 votes needed to claim victory.

The actual number of Frederick County absentee ballots received to date is 1,616 and another 717 provisional ballots will also be counted next week for a total of 2,333. A few more absentee ballots postmarked on November 2 may yet be received in time for next week's count.

Today, expect a major portion of the 1,616 Frederick County absentee ballots to be counted.

While, statistics favor Young, it is not surprising Mooney has not conceded, as anything is possible until all the votes have been tallied.

Expect the current 665 vote lead by Young to narrow after the absentee count today, but for him to maintain the lead.

Also, there is a distinct possibility Mooney could demand a recount of the vote. Rumors are he is questioning returns from Whittier, where he believes there were some abnormalities in the vote. He had been trending with a similar vote as Republican candidate for Governor, Robert Ehrlich, in other polling locations.

Unless, the vote difference between the candidates is less than one tenth of one per cent (presently 43 votes), the Mooney campaign would be responsible for the cost of the recount.

Interestingly, when early voting was instituted in Maryland, counties were assigned early voting centers and the number of centers. Frederick County received one location in the City of Frederick, even though Elections Director Stuart Harvey requested three locations.

Although, Frederick County only represents about 3.5% of the registered voters in the state, it is the largest geographical region of any county in the state. A location in Thurmont and Urbana, as requested by Mr. Harvey makes sense.

It appears Mr. Young also benefited from a larger early voter turnout from district 3-a, a strong Democratic voter registered district. The City of Frederick, where the early voting center was located, is a large portion of legislative district 3-a, which is one of the two legislative districts which make up state senate district 3. The other legislative district is district 3-b which is the southern portion of Frederick County and the sliver in Washington County.

Stay Tuned...

5:10 PM ET Update - the first round of absentee ballots have been counted in Frederick County and Ron Young received 719 and Mooney 517. Young has now increased his overall lead by 202. No numbers were available from Washington County. However, the absentee ballots are expected to be much fewer than Frederick County and will not affect the outcome of this race. Frederick County elections has the absentee count here.

The Young lead has now grown to 867 votes without the Washington County absentee vote added. With approximately 1200 absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted, Young can clearly claim victory.


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