Harford County voters had many reasons for packing the county's 75 polling places of Election Day Tuesday, and not all of them had to do with electing the nation's next commander-in-chief.
The interest shown by Harford's voters translated a huge turnout, which caused long lines and waits at many locations around the county.
Gretchen Hopley, of Bel Air, brought her daughter, Tennyson, with her to vote at Prospect Mill Elementary School near Bel Air around lunchtime Tuesday.
A regular voter, Hopley said "I want her to know she has a say in the world, in how this world is run."
"And I want her to see my vote," Hopley said.
This election is particularly important for her family, Hopley said.
"Tennyson has two mommies. It's very important for us to vote for Question 6," Hopley said. "We want her to be part of this historic decision."
"I want to be able to tell her, 'You were there the first time we tried to vote for this,'" Hopley said.
Voting in general is important she said.
"I think we all have a role in deciding our futures. We all have different ideas what the future should be," Hopley said. "That's what makes it more interesting."
Besides what most expected would be a close presidential vote nationally between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, the statewide ballot questions drew voters to the polls in Harford County in droves Thursday.
Crowds, waiting times varied
Although some polling places were busier than others, the time of day also appeared to be a factor in how much of a wait voters experienced.
At Bel Air High School around lunchtime, there was no need to wait for the next available voting station. As of 1 p.m., 558 people had voted.
Garrett Tollenger, a chief election judge at BAHS, said the stream of people had been steady all day up until 30 minutes earlier, when the crowd died down significantly.
At 6:30 a.m., there were 30 people waiting in line for the polls to open at 7 a.m. and 106 people voted in the first hour, Tollenger.
Bel Air resident Patricia Pritchett appreciated being able to get in and out. She said she was able to vote within five minutes.
"Early voting helped," Pritchett said in taking a guess why there weren't more people voting at BAHS. "They didn't want to wait in lines."
Pritchett said she found the state and county ballot questions confusing, even after reading them carefully.
"You won't know what to believe anymore," she said about conflicting ads on the questions.