Marks: 'Persistently Long Lines' at Perry Hall Poll

County Councilman David Marks requested more staff at a Chapel Hill Elementary polling place.

While some voters breezed in and out of polling places on Election Day last week, others waited in long lines—and sometimes, voters experienced both at the same location. 

This was the case on Nov. 6 at Chapel Hill Elementary School, according to County Councilman David Marks. While voters assigned to precinct 11-22 in the school's cafeteria generally experienced short lines and "more abundant workers," voters at precinct 11-5 in a multi-purpose room waited in "persistently long lines," Marks said. 

Marks recently wrote a letter to Baltimore County Board of Elections president Bruce Harris to request more workers at precinct 11-5. He also requested more workers to address long lines at two polling places at Halstead Academy in Parkville. 

"I know it is difficult to find volunteers to staff all of the county's precincts. Thank you for any help you can provide for these three precincts in the future," Marks wrote to Harris. 

Find the full text of the letter in the gallery. 

How long did you have to wait to vote? Would more staffers have helped reduce the wait at your polling place? Tell us in the comments. 



FIFA November 13, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I guess it is a matter of perspective. If Chapel Hill had "long lines", what did Florida have with five hour+ waits? The election was called and people were still in line there to vote.
hockeybuck November 13, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Gunpowder Elementary was the same. Cafeteria had a 30 minute wait and gym had none at 11:00.
John Doe November 13, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I will wait for however long it takes. If you can wait outside on "Black Friday" for hours (I never have/will), you can surely wait to vote.
Kathy B November 14, 2012 at 02:05 AM
The faithful voters at Chapel Hill Elem don't mind waiting in line, when necessary. The issue was that only 2-3 machines were being utiltized during the time I waited in line, approximately 9am--10am. There were 7 addiitional empty machines. Appeared the poll workers were having some problems with the registrations i.e. by the time the 2 workers finished registering 2 more voters, the 2-3 previous voters were done voting. Registrations did improve by 10am so that more of the machines were being utilized. I believe in the past, we had 4-6 poll workers which helped the situation immensely.
JD1 November 14, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Based on the stories, This election was the worst that I can remember as far as waiting goes. I chalk it up to the number of ballot questions. It was very obvious that many folks had not read them over using the sample ballots and were looking at them for theorist time (besides the politically charged and factually questionable) commercials. Kind of sad and makes you wonder how much real thought went into the decisions. A close friend who attends UMBC told a related story. In a political science class, the professor distributed several quotes, decisions, and proposed policies. The goal was to match them with candidates. The class failed miserably. A class at Perry Hall HS did the same experiment with AP students. I wonder what would happen if folks were required to do the same before voting. Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave for sure! Democracy depends on an educated and literate society - I think we are I trouble.
Tim November 14, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Yeah that's really strange. Fortunately, I get the gym, I had no wait at all.
Born to be Free November 14, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Thank You, David Marks. Someone out there understands the importance of voting and the right to a speedy and reasonable waiting time. I hope for future elections the lines will go faster @ Chapel Hill and Halstead Academy, as well as other polling sites within the state. Proud to have you as my county councilman. Why can't our pathetic congress be more like you?
John Doe November 14, 2012 at 02:17 PM
JD1 - I agree with you. I read all of the questions and made my decisions in advance. I was done voting in a few minutes.
Barb November 14, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Agree, also. Its so obvious. If over 85,000 people voted for Wendy Rosen who had dropped out of the race, we have a very un-informed bunch of voters out there. People! Stop watching TV ads and read everything you can find, pro and con, and make your decisions BEFORE you go to vote. Take your sample ballot with you. It has a number on it which makes it easier for the poll workers to find you on the list. Helpful if you're a Smith. :)
Donna McDonough November 14, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I was one of the folks in the multi-purpose room and waited about an hour and a half. I didn't complain because I'm happy to see so many people exercising their right to vote. But if it was so much better at other locations, then there is apparently a problem. Thank you David for checking into this. There didn't seem to be enough staffers, but I thought it was possibly their lunch time. Whatever happened or happens in the future, I would never not vote, and I really only saw one person leave.
FIFA November 14, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Barb, there were five choices to be made in that congressional race; 1) vote for Harris, 2) write in a vote, 3) not vote at all, 4) vote for Rosen not knowing what you were doing or 5) make a protest vote by voting for Rosen.
Bill Howard November 14, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Yea it was close to two hours in mid-day. Bet the evening was awful.
Pete R. November 14, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Took my son to Gunpowder about 2:30pm waited all of 5 minutes...Timing is Everything. Still the folks who sacrificed everything for our right to vote They didn't complain... Think about that folks.
Born to be Free November 15, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Gunpowder Elementary has always had short lines. I wonder why.
Hank November 15, 2012 at 03:54 PM
My child goes to Chapel Hill, but we vote at Joppa View (which had no lines).


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »