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Maryland polls open to waiting voters

Voters lined up early across the state Tuesday to make their decisions at polling centers before heading to work, according to state elections officials.

At one Southeast Baltimore polling location, a line wrapped around two sides of a firehouse on Eastern Avenue shortly after polls opened at 7 a.m.

While Marylanders will help choose the next president of the United States, voters in the the solidly-Democratic Free State are more likely to encounter electioneering surrounding one of the state’s high profile ballot initiatives, the most intensely campaigned of which has been Question 7, the proposed casino gambling expansion.

Campaigners for expanded gambling, which would include construction of a casino in Prince George’s County and the legalization of table games such as poker throughout the state, have vowed to be out in force throughout the state Tuesday.

MGM Resorts International Inc., the casino company with the most to gain from gambling expansion, has been strategic in its campaign thus far, bringing members of the company with Maryland ties into the state to better orchestrate strategy.

Penn National Gaming Inc., the casino company that has the most to lose if gambling is expanded, has tried to stoke distrust of Maryland’s Democratic leaders in its campaign, and will also be canvasing the state Tuesday.

Democratic leaders in Maryland also support three laws petitioned to referendum: a proposed law that would allow some undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition at Maryland colleges and universities, a proposed congressional redistricting map and a proposed law that would legalize gay marriage.

Hired hands on both sides of the issues were already out at the polls early Tuesday. Polls close at 8 p.m.