Predicting voter turnout is never easy but I thought I would give it a go on the day before Election Day in Maryland for the 2022 Gubernatorial General Election.
I think to make a prediction it would be good to look back at turnout in past Gubernatorial General Elections. Here are turnout numbers for the past 3:
Carroll County cast 61,416 votes (making up 58.38% of eligible voters). In looking at the 10 largest jurisdictions: Carroll County ranked as the 2nd highest voter turnout % only behind Harford County (60.97%).
Statewide voter turnout in 2010 was 50.38%
Carroll County cast 62,621 votes (making up 55.44% of eligible voters). In looking at the 10 largest jurisdictions: Carroll County ranked #1 in voter turnout %, second was Harford County at 53.93%.
Statewide voter turnout in 2014 was 44.72%
Carroll County cast 75,733 votes (making up 62.63% of eligible voters). In looking at the 10 largest jurisdictions: Carroll County ranked 4th highest voter turnout % behind Howard County (67.59%), Montgomery County (63.03%), and Frederick County (62.91%).
Statewide voter turnout in 2018 was 59.06%
2022: Where are we at the day before Election Day:
Early voting is over and a lot of mail in ballots have been returned. Here is where Carroll County stands in voter turnout before Election day:
Carroll County has cast 25,222 votes via Early Voting and Mail In Voting as of what has been reported on November 7th. This gives Carroll County a voter turnout percentage number of 19.77% ranking tied for 4th in the state as of today behind Howard County (22.72%), Baltimore County (20.79%) and Harford County (20.02%), and with Anne Arundel County (19.77%).
Note: The data on November 7th came out just before 9:00am. The mail in ballot totals in Carroll County (and a few other jurisdictions) did not change but there were some changes to the overall voter turnout numbers which was corrected in the paragraph above.
10 largest jurisdictions in Maryland per the active voter counts of 2022: (Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s)
All of the data above is available here: https://www.elections.maryland.gov/press_room/index.html
The 2010 report and the 2014 report above did not include Provisional and Absentee ballot counts
- In 2010 Carroll County returned 2,249 Absentee ballots bringing the turnout to 60.15% for Carroll County.
- In 2014 Carroll County returned 1,533 Absentee ballots bringing the turnout to 56.80% for Carroll County.
So those are the turnout percentage numbers in the past three Gubernatorial Elections for Carroll County (60.15%, 56.80%, and 62.63%).
Here are some issues that could play a factor in voter turnout in 2022:
1. Lack of local races
Most of the local races in Carroll County were decided in the Primary. Most of the Commissioners, all of the State Senators, State Delegates, Sheriff, State’s Attorney and others have already been decided in the county. There are two LOCAL contested races of interest in the 2022 General Election:
Will the lack of local races keep some people home on election day? Maybe.
2. Red Wave in 2022
Most news agencies are talking about a potential Red Wave (GOP candidates getting elected) across the country. Republican turnout is expected to be high in many places.
Here in Carroll County 49.93% of residents are registered as Republican (per the Active Voter list on October 22nd).
Will the potential expected Red Wave mean higher turnout in 2022? Maybe.
3. Split in the Republican Party in Maryland
If you watched the 2022 Primary in Maryland you saw a real split in the Republican Party as that party had to choose between Dan Cox and Kelly Schulz in the race for Governor. As we all know Dan Cox came out on top in the Primary.
The question is: Will Republicans that backed Kelly Schulz come out and vote in the 2022 General Election or might they skip this election? I believe this may be an interesting factor in voter turnout in 2022…especially here in Carroll County (where Cox beat out Schulz 49.51% to 47.31% in the Primary).
4. Polling has Moore significantly ahead of Cox in the race for Governor
The top of ballot race (this year it is Governor) usually has a great deal to do with voter turnout. If you have seen the polling in the race it is a pretty significant advantage for Moore over Cox (20+ to 30+ point margin for Moore).
Will voters be motivated to get out and vote given that most polling has this race as a runaway before Election Day? This honestly could go either way…keep people home or even better motivate voters to vote. Hard to say at this point.
If you look at the weather forecast for tomorrow we look to be in for a cold day. Per the National Weather Service during the day (Sunny, with a high near 56. North wind 8 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph) and in the evening (Mostly clear, with a low around 33. Northeast wind 3 to 5 mph)
So a cold day to get out and vote and a cold day for workers at the various voting locations. Might this keep voters home on election day? Maybe.
Taking the past turnout numbers and factoring in my list of items of interest above…here is my prediction for turnout % in Carroll County in 2022.
If I were Vegas and creating an Over/Under number I would put Carroll County projected turnout at around 58% or around 74,000 votes cast in 2022
I think the factors noted above might be enough to bring down voter turnout a bit from the 2018 election. I do firmly believe that voter turnout % in the county will be higher that the statewide average (as is generally the case) but maybe not as high as some past elections.
I hope I am wrong. I hope readers of this article see that number and get out to vote to prove me wrong and that Carroll County hits 65% or greater in 2022. That would be fantastic.
Tomorrow is the BIG DAY. The Observer will be stopping by a few voting locations before lunch to visit with candidates and supporters. Be sure to follow The Observer on Facebook for the latest updates: https://www.facebook.com/CarrollObserver
The Observer will publish voting data on Wednesday morning (November 9th) knowing that the races will not be over until Mail In and Provisional ballots are counted after Election Day:
- Mail-In Ballot Canvass will be held on Thursday, November 10 beginning at 10 a.m. and Friday, November 18 beginning at 10 a.m in the Robert Moton Gym – 300 S Center St. Westminster, MD 21157
- Provisional Ballot Canvass will be held on Wednesday, November 16 beginning at 10 a.m. in the Robert Moton Gym – 300 S Center St. Westminster, MD 21157
A final election wrap up article will be published when all the votes are counted (after November 18th).
General Election: November 8, 2022, 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
- To find where you vote on election day, please visit the Maryland State Board of Elections Voting Location Lookup page.
- You can also call the Carroll County Board of Elections at 410-386-2080 or email email@example.com with any questions.