CHESTERTOWN — While the numbers are unofficial, the votes have all been tallied in Kent County.
As of about 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, Democrats Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris lead the presidential race in Maryland with 65% of the vote in the state, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections website.
The Republican ticket of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence trailed 960,681 votes in Maryland to the former vice president’s 1,917,406.
Biden maintained his lead in Kent County, though with a much slimmer margin. he topped Trump here 5,329 votes to 5,195. The only other county on the Eastern Shore to go for Biden was Talbot. where he won 11,062 to 10,946.
Incumbent Congressman Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, captured 63.5% of the vote, besting Democratic challenger Mia Mason 250,099 votes to 142,981. Andy Harris won every county in the district, which covers the entire Eastern Shore and portions of Harford, Carroll and Baltimore counties.
Kent County voters sought to return Andy Harris to the U.S. House Representatives for a sixth term. He received 5,396 local votes to Mason’s 5,106.
In the only local race for office, incumbent Joe Goetz and newcomer Francoise Sullivan were elected to the Kent County Board of Education. The race was uncontested, as two seats were open and longtime incumbent Bryan Williams opted not to run.
With all the votes counted, the final tally shows Goetz with 7,125 votes and Sullivan with 6,238.
While 171 write in votes were cast, none were for legally recognized candidates, said Kent County Board of Elections Director Cheemoandia Blake in an email Monday, Nov. 16.
In Queen Anne’s County, there were three board of education seats on the ballot, two of which were races among write-in candidates.
The District 2 seat is set to be occupied by Richard “Dick” Smith, the only registered candidate in an uncontested race. He received 19,658 votes. There were another 1,222 write-in votes, though no names are listed on the state elections website.
Helen Bennett is the apparent winner among in the three-way write-in race for the District 3 seat. Bennett leads with 5,047 votes, followed by Pamela Turner-Tingle with 2,950 and Buffy Cromwell with 910.
In the four-way write-in race for the District 4 seat, Mark “Schif” Schifanelli is atop the list with 4,353 votes. Nikki Kennedy is second with 3,186, trailed by Mark Anderson with 754 and Sean Foley with 528.
A majority of Kent County voters followed the rest of the state in approving two ballot measures this year: expanding the authority of the General Assembly in amending the governor’s annual budget proposal and legalizing sports betting.
Voters here also followed suit in backing three judges on the ballot: Court of Appeals Judge Brynja Booth, Court of Special Appeals At-Large Judge E. Gregory Walls and Court of Special Appeals Appellate Circuit 1 Judge Christopher B. Kehoe.
According to an Election Day report, there were 4,506 Kent countians who took advantage of early voting. The total number of ballots cast in the county on Election Day was 1,680, the report shows.
Statistics provided by Blake show there were 3,961 mail-in ballots in Kent County. Of those, 19 were rejected. Reasons ranged from a voter failing to sign or print their name on the oath envelope to voters who already returned an absentee ballot, the latter being the most common reason for rejection.
There were another 317 provisional ballots, with 37 accepted in part and 15 rejected. The most common reason for a provisional ballot’s rejection was, again, the voter had already returned their absentee ballot.
The Election Day report shows 58.71% voter turnout for Kent County.