As news came at 11:15 p.m. last night that President Barack Obama had won Ohio and secured a second term in office, the Kent County Board of Elections reported that KC voters went red by a mere 80 votes—giving Republican challenger Mitt Romney a razor thin victory in Maryland’s smallest county.
The final tally was 4,453 votes for Obama and 4,533 for Romney—a margin of .008 percent of the all the votes cast in KC.
But local Democrats were elated when Maryland went blue by a 20 percent margin of nearly 300,00 votes—easily handing Obama the state’s 10 electoral votes.
1st District voters cast ballots for Wendy Rosen in error
After an extensive write-in campaign by state and local Democrats to get out the vote for John LaFerla, former Democratic candidate Wendy Rosen received 83,152 votes—although she withdrew from the race in September amid accusations of voter fraud.
The votes will be tossed out.
LaFerla, who stepped up to take Rosen’s slot, will know his vote tallies after the write-in ballots are counted, which may take several days.
Incumbent Republican Andy Harris earned 51.4 percent of the vote in Kent County.
Incumbent Senator Ben Cardin easily retained his seat by defeating Republican challenger Daniel John Bongino with 56 percent of the vote.
Kent School Board incumbents Brian Kirby and Bryan Williams survived a challenge from newcomer Nivek Johnson, an 18-year-old freshman at Chesapeake College and Kent High School graduate. Johnson made an impressive showing at a candidate forum in October and earned nearly 25 percent of the vote.
Sixth Casino at National Harbor approved by voters
Question 7, a referendum to decide if Maryland should have a sixth casino was approved with 51.7 percent of the 2,194,739 votes cast. The vote clears the way for a Las Vegas style casino on the Maryland side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Kent County voters rejected the measure by 58 percent of vote.
Same Sex Marriage passes
The Civil Marriage Protection Act, Question 6, is now law and guarantees gay couples the same marriage rights and privileges as straight couples.
Kent County voted in line with state and better–casting 57 percent of the vote in support of marriage equality. (Correction: After the final tally, Kent County voters rejected the measure by less than 3 percent of the vote.)
Under the new law, same sex couples can marry as early as Jan. 31.
Undocumented students get in-state tuition rates
Maryland voters approved the Dream Act, which will allow children of undocumented parents the chance to attend a community college at the in-state tuition rate.
Kent County followed suit with the rest of the state–casting 58 percent of the vote in support of the Dream Act. (Correction: After the final tally, Kent voters rejected the measure by .018 percent of the vote.)
*The vote tallies for Kent County could change over the next few days as more than 500 absentee ballots have yet to be counted, said Kent County Election Director Cheemoandia Blake.
*Tallies reported in this article came within 24 hours of poll closings and are subject to change slightly.