The results are in. With a relatively small sample (312 people), Eye On Annapolis presents the results of a non-scientific Annapolis election poll of readers, followers on Twitter, and “likers” of our Facebook page. As you view the results, remember that these do not necessarily reflect likely voters and is dependent on the respondents being connected to the Internet and to know about the poll’s existence. The poll also did not separate the candidates by party as there is no way for us to determine the party of the respondent. Finally, there is no way to know if the respondents are even eligible to vote in the City. It will be interesting to see how our results reflect the actual results at tomorrow’s primary.
What to expect at tomorrow’s primary
Speaking of tomorrow’s primary, remember that Maryland has CLOSED PRIMARY ELECTIONS. If you are registered as anything other than a Democrat or Republican you are not able to vote tomorrow and will have to wait until the general election in November. Also, several of the typical polling locations have been moved. Please read the updated list here (PDF). The polls will be open from 7am to 8pm. In Maryland you do not need to present ID to vote; however, you will be asked to verify information contained on your voter registration. There are certain flags that may require an ID, but most people will not need to show it to vote. If there are any discrepancies, challenges, or questions about your ability to vote, you will be allowed to vote provisionally (paper ballot to be reviewed by hand). Many have asked about the security of the electronic voting machines. I have worked as an Election Judge for many years and feel they are very secure with a number of checks and balances. When you check in, you are identified and marked as having voted in an electronic poll book. As long as you had not voted before (and are eligible to vote electronically), a voter card (credit card looking thing) will be issued to you along with a slip of paper where you have verified your identity and signed your name. This does NOT have any identifying information on it–just the proper ballot. When you insert it into the machine (gold patch up and in first), the proper ballot should come up. Once you hit the red CAST BALLOT button on the screen, your vote is recorded. Up to that point, you can make any changes needed. If you have questions, see an election judge. There is a significant paper trail. When the machines are first opened in the morning, there is a report printed showing that the votes are “zero” and no votes have been recorded. A copy is posted and another copy remains in the machine attached to the paper roll. At the end of the day, each machine runs a results report which will say how many votes were cast for each candidate. This report is physically attached to the morning “zero” report to provide consistency. The slips of paper where you verified your identity are counted and compared with the actual number of votes cast on the machine–another check and balance. If there is a discrepancy it is resolved. How you actually voted is only recorded as a vote for the candidates you selected–the election judges, the machines, nor the voter cards retain or know that information.
Below are the results and some comments. Analysis will follow.
The results here are very interesting. The overwhelming support goes to the Republican candidates with Mike Pantelides nearly doubling incumbent Mayor Josh Cohen. However, Pantelides’ constituency may be more connected than the other candidates. I know that both Pantelides and O’Shea passed along the link to this poll to their supporters.
Mayor Cohen has the lead over Bevin Buchheister on the Democrat side of the equation which is also somewhat surprising in that until very recently, Buchheister seemed to be doing a better job getting her name out there with yard signs, boats trolling Ego Alley, public events and mailings.
Republican, Frank Bradley only garnered 6 votes. This is likely due to his campaign not being online to any degree (email only), and his statement when filing to run that he did not expect to win.
Incumbent Joe Budge seems to be the favorite here although Allen Furth, a last-minute candidate appointed by the Republican Central Committee, made a very strong showing despite not having a presence on the Internet as well.
Incumbent Fred Paone also looks like a runaway favorite. On the Democrat side, Kurt Riegel seems to have a decided edge over Tim Mennuti. To my knowledge, Mennuti, along with Paone, did not have much of an Internet presence.
Unaffiliated candidate, Steven Conn pulled nearly 75% of the vote in our poll. However, there is no Republican candidate nor an opposing Democrat to Kenny Kirby. With no primary for unaffiliated candidates, both will move forward to the general election in November.
Incumbent Ian Pfeiffer is the runaway favorite. On the James (JT) Clenny is the republican challenger and performed well in this poll considering he was a last minute candidate and has no Internet presence.
Worth noting is that the unchallenged candidates (Furth, Paone, Conn, Kirby, Pfieffer, Clenny) are likely to NOT put too much emphasis or money in getting their message out for the primary. They only need a single vote to move onto the general. However, once the primary is done, expect to see a flood of signs and information from all.
The following are my thoughts and analysis of the various races. My predictions are indeed predictions based on those thoughts and not necessarily endorsements or indicative of the way I plan to vote personally.
On the Republican side, Mike Pantelides had a very strong showing in our poll and has (without dispute) outraised and outspent his opponent Bob O’Shea. Mike has a lot of party backing and I suspect will handily win the republican primary for Mayor. Winner: Pantelides.
On the Democrat side it is a bit more complicated. Cohen has placed his support (not unconditional, but support nonetheless) behind two controversial projects (City Dock and Crystal Spring), and Buchheister who emerged from the Save Annapolis coalition has come out against them. If the race was decided by the downtown wards (1,2,8), Buchheister would be a shoe-in. Cohen has the power of incumbency behind him as well as the support of the hard core Democrats who are the ones that tend to vote in the primaries. As one political insider told me, “Dems are not prone to eating their own unless there is a good reason.” And while Cohen may not have lived up to expectations (does ANY politician?) there was not a real solid reason for the hard core dems to abandon him. Buchheister is an unknown in the outer wards of the City and Cohen is working them. Cohen can count on the backing of the African American community; but the question remains will they vote in the primary? To insure this, Cohen must rely on Aldermen Finlayson and Kirby, and presumed Alderman Rhonda Pindell Charles to encourage their wards that the election is indeed important despite their seats being safe–for now. Political operatives in those wards are are currently placing their full support behind Cohen. On the development–City Dock has earned the scorn of Ward 1 but many in the outer wards support the redevelopment. Likewise, Crystal Spring does have supporters. Many of the people that attended the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters forum (presumably the opposition) were not City residents and cannot vote. Cohen offered his support, but not unconditionally, to the project. Buchheister has been running an anti-incumbent general election campaign while Cohen appears to be running a primary campaign and appealing to the hard core democrats who will likely vote for him. In the end, I think Cohen will come out on top of this but not by much. It will be a wake up call to him for the general. Winner: Cohen.
Joe Budge is the incumbent and has done a thoughtful (if uneventful) job on the City Council. He was active prior to his nomination and campaign. Tom McCarthy is a relative newcomer and has not been actively involved in the City issues until the campaign. Winner: Budge.
Allen Furth is unopposed and will move on to the general election.
According to friends in the ward, Riegel has been more active knocking on doors and introducing himself to the ward. I ran into him walking on Rosedale Street a few weeks ago. He is marginally online and to my knowledge, Mennuti is not. Winner: Riegel.
Feed Paone is unopposed and will move on to the general election.
Kenny Kirby is unopposed and will move on to the general election.
Steven Conn is unopposed and will move on to the general election without participation in the primary.
Ian Pfeiffer is unopposed and will move on to the general election.
James Clenny is unopposed and will move on to the general election.