Early voting may have helped sink Mooney
Maryland's venture into early voting didn't make much difference in the outcome of statewide races, but there's at least one legislative contest in which it might have had a significant effect.
In the District 3 Senate race, Democratic challenger Ron Young's strong lead in early voting gave him a 665-vote margin over GOP Sen. Alex Mooney at the end of election night vote counting.
Young actually trailed Mooney in votes cast on election day, but vaulted past the incumbent on the strength of the 878-vote majority he built up before Election Day in Frederick County as Democrats made maximum advantage of the opportunity to vote early. (The district includes a sliver of Washington County, where Mooney prevailed by 118 votes. Washington County did not break out early votes on its web site.)
Now this doesn't mean the people who voted for Young early wouldn't have found their way to the polls on Election Day anyway. But early voting certainly gave Young a cushion going in to the final day, and he used it.
No wonder Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. vetoed an early voting bill while he was governor. And no wonder the Democrats in the General Assembly overode that veto.