Voter registrations continue to surge in Maryland and most of the surge is going in the Democrats' direction as recent numbers from the Maryland State Board of Elections confirm.
As of October 15, there were 3,360,846 registered voters in Maryland of which 1,898,571 were registered as Democrats and 919,240 as Republicans with the remainder being either independent or members of smaller parties. This represents an increase of 83,622 registered voters just since September 19.
Those 83,622 voters include 58,099 registered as Democrats and 10,090 registered as Republicans - a stunning advantage of more than 5 to 1 over the last 26 days. Projections by the Board of Elections indicate that, for the full year, Democratic registrations will outnumber Republican registrations by about 3 to 1.
Indeed, the interest in this election has generated a very high number of new registrations. Hopefully the Board of Elections has deployed enough voting machines and election workers to accomodate all those who wish to vote.
With turnout expected to be very high, it's important that there be enough machines and election workers to allow everyone to vote. This is particularly important in areas such as Prince George's County which registered almost 17,000 new voters in the last 26 days.
Montgomery County registered almost 15,000 new voters during the same period and Baltimore City registered nearly 11,000.
Here on the Lower Shore, the numbers are much smaller. In Worcester County, 730 new voters were registered between September 19 and October 15. 318 are Democrats and 264 are Republican. In Wicomico County there have been 1,154 registrations during the period including 669 new Dems and 269 new Republicans. Over in Somerset, of 262 new voters, 173 are Dems and only 53 are Republican.
Of course, as others have pointed out, these new registrations affect not only this election but the state and local elections coming up in two years. Former Governor Ehrlich, who indicates he wants a rematch with Martin O'Malley, will have that much harder a time. And Republican chances of gaining ground in the state legislature will be that much slimmer.
[Note: the painting Canvassing For Votes was done by William Hogarth in 1755 and is one of his series of four on The Humours of an Election.]