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Maryland Votes On President, Sen. Mikulski's Replacement

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Voters will decide on Tuesday whether Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump will win Maryland's 10 electoral votes, and they'll also pick the replacement for one of the state's most popular politicians: Barbara Mikulski, who is retiring after 30 years in the U.S. Senate.

The state's congressional seats also are on the ballot, with all incumbents seeking re-election.

Polls open across the state open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. A record number of Maryland residents took advantage of early voting. Over eight days, more than 800,000 voters cast ballots in the state — far more than the 430,500 people who voted early in the 2012 presidential election.

Fotina Kyriacou, 29, was one of this year's early voters. The Annapolis resident said she voted for Clinton on Thursday night, citing health care and education as the top issues.

"I think mainly because she has more experience behind her belt," Kyriacou said.

Desiree Scherini, a Republican who lives in Annapolis, said she wasn't thrilled about either candidate. She said she has tried to vote three times during early voting, but the lines were too long. For Scherini, one thing is certain: She isn't voting for Clinton.

"I'm still debating if I would actually vote for Trump or if I would write in somebody who I know doesn't have a chance but just as a statement," she said.

Polls have shown Clinton with a big lead over Trump in Maryland, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1. Not even Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is supporting the billionaire GOP nominee.

Maryland is traditionally a blue state. Democrats have won Maryland in the last six presidential races. George Bush was the last Republican to win Maryland, 28 years ago in 1988.

Voters also will choose who will fill a rarely open Senate seat. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a seven-term Democrat, is running against Del. Kathy Szeliga, a Republican who is the minority whip in the Maryland House of Delegates. Van Hollen has run as an experienced lawmaker who is willing to reach across the political aisle to do important work. Szeliga has worked to use that experience against him, casting him as an insider of dysfunctional Washington.

Maryland residents also will vote for the state's eight U.S. House members. All of the incumbents are running for re-election. With turnout anticipated to be heavy, Maryland's House incumbents are expected to be safe. Maryland has seven Democrats and one Republican in the House.

The race in the 6th Congressional District in western Maryland has drawn some attention. Rep. John Delaney, a Democrat, had a close race in 2014, when voter turnout was low. Delaney is running against Republican Amie Hoeber, whose husband has contributed $3.8 million to a super PAC supporting her campaign over the past year.

Baltimore will choose a new mayor. State Sen. Cathy Pugh, a Democrat, is running against Republican Alan Walden in the heavily Democratic city.

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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